Swarthmore pulls Cosby's honorary degree

Bill Cosby has lost another honor.

Swarthmore College's board of managers voted Saturday to rescind an honorary degree in humane letters that the college awarded to the entertainer in 1995. College President Valerie Smith announced the decision Monday.

"Mr. Cosby has testified in a deposition under oath, which was made public in July, that he routinely and premeditatively drugged women before having sex with them," wrote Smith, who became president this year of Swarthmore, one of the nation's highly selective colleges. "We find that his admitted personal behaviors are wholly inconsistent with our institutional values - and ones we would never want our own students or graduates to emulate."

Swarthmore joins a growing number of higher education institutions that have opted to pull degrees given to Cosby following dozens of allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted women.

Other area colleges that have rescinded degrees in recent months include Muhlenberg and Franklin and Marshall Colleges, Lehigh, Wilkes and Drexel Universities, and the University of Pittsburgh. Nationally, the list includes Brown, Tufts, Goucher, Fordham, Marquette, Baylor and the University of San Francisco.

The vote by Swarthmore's board of managers followed a recommendation from both the college's faculty and its honorary degree committee.

Some area colleges have not revoked Cosby's honorary degree, including the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University, Cosby's alma mater, where he had served as a trustee until his resignation this year.

ssnyder@phillynews.com

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