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.
President Trump’s role in inciting violence at the Capitol is prompting some lawmakers to urge his removal from office through the 25th Amendment. Here’s how that process works. https://t.co/mtCFHH8Ujv
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 7, 2021
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.
While I appreciate the comment, I think it’s time to revisit rescind the honorary degrees of the President and Cosby. If other schools can do it, why can’t we?
— Amanda Fabrizio-Grzesik (@afg_mestieres) January 7, 2021
this statement is weak. my alma mater @LehighU gave an honorary degree to Trump in 1988 and has refused to revoke it after years of petitions and outcry from alum + students
— Samantha Tomaszewski (@managewski) January 7, 2021
As a Lehigh staff member, alumna, former alumni board member, and parent, I implore the BOT to rescind Trump’s honorary degree. Failure to do so is a blight on our institution.
— Kathleen Hutnik (@KahaKathleen) January 7, 2021
Rescind Donald Trump’s honorary degree. Students, staff, and alumni have petitioned the Board of Trustees to do so MULTIPLE times. We are tired of empty words and no action.
— diana hammerstone (@dianaerinnn67) January 8, 2021
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.