Letter to the editor: Still more reasons to rescind Trump’s honorary degree


#UNFIT was released on Sept. 1, 2020, by www.adutytowarn.org (@duty2warn). This feature length documentary by top mental health professionals details Trump’s dangerous sociopathy and malignant narcissism. More context is available by viewing the various one-minute Lincoln Project videos highlighting Trump’s dishonesty and lack of character that have aired on national TV in recent months.

Karen Zakeski, ’78

David Zakeski, ’79








Some students and faculty who are new members of the Lehigh community might not be aware that over 30,000 Lehigh students and alums petitioned for rescinding Trump’s honorary degree in 2017, followed by the Lehigh faculty also overwhelmingly voting to rescind in 2018.

Like many alums, we are deeply embarrassed that the board of trustees’ failure to remove this stain on Lehigh has yet to be rectified. How is that possible?

We sincerely hope that conscience-driven student activism has not died at Lehigh.  How does virtual activism sound? What can be done to make that happen?

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  1. Bruce Haines ‘67 on

    Do you really have nothing better to do than to inject your political agenda into such a campaign? Trump came to Washington rightfully elected to break up the good old boy Washington network of corruption & back scratching.

    The Lincoln project represents those that have benefitted from that over the years as has Biden whose son & family fed off this corruption. How do you think Biden & his family have been able to afford their palatial homes on a 47 year career as politician.

    Trump may be brash & arrogant but should we rescind degrees of most New Yorkers!! He is doing the job he was elected to do & these people don’t like someone messing in their soup.

  2. Amy Charles ‘89 on

    Thank you.

    Provost Urban: Trump’s honorary degree is perfectly representative of the education in abject selfishness and bigotry that Lehigh’s been pumping out for as long as I’ve known it, so I am not surprised that admin and the trustees have declined to take it away. Also you’re scared to, because those are the kinds of pathetic gold-plated criminal nothings who scare people like you guys. A few years ago, I tried to dissociate myself from Lehigh by asking Pat Farrell to rescind my degree. Pat refused. I promise you, there are no alumna donations coming from this quarter, no greed-based reasons to hang onto me. What do you figure? Want to give it a go? Symbolic, certainly, but I’d be proud.

    Oh yeah, I got raped there, too. One of your frat boys. I bet he sends you guys money. Keep him, he’s much more your speed.

    • Ugh Provost Urban—Do us all a favor and rescind Amy’s degree. Maybe then she’ll stop posting incessantly in the comment section of a college newspaper. While you’re mulling that over, perhaps ask Provost Fuentes what the University of Iowa thinks about publicly exhibiting rage, resentment, and vitriol towards another, much higher ranked university by non-tenure track faculty members.

      • Amy Charles ‘89 on

        She’d probably say that it doesn’t say much for the probably-male alum of that school, which happens to be the reason for the Clery Act, who responds to a rape disclosure by posting anonymously while (a) attacking other people’s employment; (b) being amusingly “do you know who I am” about rankings; and (c) not doing his homework (Montse’s not provost). All very traditional-Lehigh, when you stand back and look at it.

        Thanks for the support in the cause, though.

        • Enough Already on

          Ah, the never ending intrigues that roil university politics. It would appear that Alum and Amy Charles are out of touch with what is going on at the University of Iowa.

          Take a look at this article:


          When you read between the lines, it looks like Fuentes was in reality “fired” from the Provost job, When she was hired, she probably did so under contract. Thus the shenanigans with regards to pay.

          As I look at the “musical chairs” going on at Lehigh with regards to Simon and Farrell, I wonder what the real stories are for them.

          • Amy Charles ‘89 on

            Yes, that’s what I said. She’s not provost. You have to keep up.

            What you’re seeing in all the schools’ musical chairs is theft and the evisceration of the American university system. There are many fancy names for it but they all translate to theft and loss of opportunity for young people. The vehicles are ordinary ones: debt, handcuffing to long-term leases. The school districts have had their turn, too, in the last several years, with investment firms orchestrating and marketing nine-digit loans to the desperate and greedy.

            There isn’t any more interesting story than that. Sorry it’s boring. Theft is usually boring. Destructive, but boring. And you didn’t need me to tell you any of this. All you had to do was look at the size of the admin salaries and ask yourself who in hell would take a salary like that if it meant jacking kids’ college tuitions to the sky, and then asking who was dangling such salaries. You don’t even have to get to asking why.

  3. “We sincerely hope that conscience-driven student activism has not died at Lehigh.”

    I sincerely hope that conscience-driven Lehigh-donor activism could find a financial advantage to being on the right side of history.

    Students are dealing with a lot right now. How about not making one more thing their responsibility?

  4. Nothing like Libs trying to erase or rewrite history they don’t agree with. How about take down another statue activism, or rescind some holidays.

  5. Bob Davenport on

    Alum: If you disagree with Amy, which I sometimes do, you should be able appreciate the viewpoints she brings to the discussion. Consider commenter Phillip, whose words are worthless to any discussion even if it was clear as to whom he disagrees with, he is a better candidate for exiting the B&W blog.

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