Donald Trump speaks at Lehigh University's 1988 commencement ceremony. The Board of Trustees announced that Trump's honorary degree has been rescinded. (Lehigh University Archives)

BREAKING: Board of Trustees votes to rescind Trump’s honorary degree


The Lehigh University Board of Trustees has voted to rescind and revoke the honorary degree awarded to Donald Trump in 1988. 

This decision comes two days after pro-Trump rioters forcefully infiltrated the Capitol while congress was in active session, confirming the presidential electoral votes. 

The rioting occurred during the Senate hearings as they were voting to confirm the electoral college votes which resulted in President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory. The events sparked following the results of the Georgia runoff elections which put the presidency, House and Senate in democratic control. Many are faulting Trump himself for encouraging the riots and are calling for his immediate removal from office.

Revoking the degree has been a contentious topic among members of the Lehigh community who have circulated multiple petitions to rescind the honor over the course of Trump’s presidency. 

The latest petition was created by Chad Williams and the Office of Multicultural Affairs on Nov. 5. This petition was shared across social media by students and gained several signatures since the riots at the Capitol on Wednesday.  

The events Wednesday prompted a message from President Simon who expressed to the university community that “we have much work to do” in unifying our country. 

“I trust that it will inspire us to redouble our efforts to unite our country and encourage the peaceful pursuit of governance, guided by truth and reason,” Simon said. 

Community members overwhelmingly responded to Simon’s message, urging him to revoke the degree.





Lehigh’s announcement to rescind Donald Trump’s honorary degree comes less than two weeks before he will leave office, preceding Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

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  1. PA stood proud in the election, pulling through for President Biden. Lehigh University is now 2 for 2. Revolking sexual offenders Cosby and Trump’s honorary degrees. Lehigh Universtiy stands proud today!

  2. Looks like the guy in the viking horns really got under their skin. Hopefully they didn’t clutch their pearls too hard.

  3. Amy Charles '89 on

    Cool by Lehigh’s trustees:

    – Kids in cages, border concentration camps.
    – Mass murder of helpless populations through public health dereliction.
    – Evisceration of federal government, replacement of fit employees with sycophants.
    – The whipping up of violent racism.
    – Xenophobia and the infliction of deliberate, often lawless cruelty on immigrants.
    – Near-destruction of the postwar global democratic order.
    – The federal government turned into a personal grifting machine.

    Not cool by Lehigh’s trustees:

    – Effin A, the rabble all over that sweet marble building we and our buddies bought!

    What a large collection of unflushable turds.

  4. Michael Joseph Sedonic on

    I hope that Board of Trustees are NOT hypocrites. Can I assume that ALL
    Trump contributions will also be returned.

    • Does anyone actually think Donald Trump, founder and chairman of the now dissolved Donald J. Trump Foundation, excoriated by the New York Attorney General for self-dealing and fraud, actually donated a cent to Lehigh? I hear this talking point from angry Trumpers all over Lehigh’s social media and have yet to uncover any record in The Brown and White archives mentioning any charitable contribution by Trump to Lehigh, at least in the late 1980s when he was the commencement speaker. If anyone can produce evidence to the contrary, I’ll eat my words; in the meantime, Trump can kiss my old silver goblet.

  5. AMY CHARLES '89 on

    Thanks for finally rescinding this degree. Let’s also refund his sticking money. We don’t need his previous donations at this fine institution!

    • Amy Charles '89 on

      Hi – someone thinks they’re clever, using my name. I didn’t write the above. I’d also be surprised if he ever actually parted with any money and sent it to Lehigh.

      • Embarrassed to Be Associated on

        I doubt he ever did–he made a number of comments about the school indirectly over the years, blaming it for his brother’s demise…. That being said, he was more than happy to accept the honorary doctorate.

  6. Gary Hauk ‘74 ‘77 on

    I’m proud to say that my alma mater did the right thing by revoking this fraudulent demagogue’s honorary degree. I’m increasing my contribution this year, modest as it is.

  7. I’ve been waiting years to say this, and it’ll taste so much sweeter next week: SO LONG, ORANGE MAN!!

    I commend the Board for finally taking action against Drumpf and standing up to his hateful agenda. However, I believe the Board still has work to do. Anything less than vehement and vocal opposition to his “presidency” and rhetoric is a direct threat to the safety and well-being of so many Americans, including BIPOC, LGBTQ+, Latinx, Dreamers, Muslims, and many others. Support or tacit acceptance is in violation of Lehigh’s Principles of Our Equitable Community and shall no longer be tolerated.

    Therefore, I am formally calling upon the Board of Trustees to rescind the degrees and academic credits of all alumni and current students who have not publicly condemned Bloompf and his Reign of Terror, no matter how much Mommy and Daddy paid for them.

  8. “President Trump has held over 600 rallies in the last 4 years & none of them included assaulting police, destroying businesses or burning down cities. Democrats have spent all this time endorsing & enabling violent riots that left billions in property damage & 47 dead.”

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