- Ex-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani will be able to keep his honorary degree from St. John Fisher College.
- The school’s board of trustees voted to rescind the degree but did not meet a majority requirement.
- College alums urged the school to revoke the degree after Giuliani peddled baseless claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
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A New York college’s board of trustees did not have enough votes to rescind an honorary degree given to Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.
Giuliani, as a result, gets to keep his honorary degree from St. John Fisher College, bestowed upon him in 2015 for his service as mayor in New York during 9/11.
According to 13 WHAM, an ABC News affiliate, the school’s board of trustees voted on the decision Friday but did not have the two-thirds majority required to revoke the degree.
After the Capitol riot on January 6, St. John Fisher College was inundated with requests from former school government and class officers to rescind Giuliani’s degree, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
Giuliani pushed disinformation and conspiracy theories about the results of the 2020 election, including repeated unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud.
His language and actions “were antithetical to everything St. John Fisher College espouses, such that we believe his continued relationship with the College risks permanent damage to the College’s reputation, campus culture, and the prestige of future honorary degrees,” a letter from 15 alums read, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.
After the Capitol riot, at least one college revoked an honorary degree from Giuliani.
Middlebury College in Vermont rescinded his degree, given to him in 2005, because of his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
St. John Fisher College, however, said “no further actions will be taken” on the topic of Giuliani’s honorary degree.
Two institutions – Lehigh University and Wagner College – in January announced the revocation of honorary degrees given to Trump in light of the riots at the Capitol.
The board of trustees “voted to rescind and revoke the honorary degree granted to Donald J. Trump in 1988,” a statement from the Lehigh University account on Twitter reads.
Lehigh faculty members have for years urged the university to rescind Trump’s degree, which he received upon speaking at its 1988 commencement ceremony. In 2018, nearly 300 Lehigh faculty members urged the board of trustees to rescind the degree. They argued that Trump’s statements and actions as president did not fall in line with the values of the school, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The trustees did not budge.
The Wagner board of trustees also voted to rescind an honorary degree he had received from the institution in 2004, according to a statement posted online.
The riot, which began after Trump encouraged his supporters to protest the results of the election, has been characterized as an attempted coup. Rioters stormed the Capitol building as lawmakers were meeting inside to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Five people, including one police officer, died. Members of the Proud Boys, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, were reportedly present.