First reported by TMZ, Fordham University in New York City has revoked the honorary doctorate ;that was awarded to the actor in 2001. ; On Thursday, members of the Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to pull the 78-year-old’s degree, marking the first time the school has done so in its 174-year history. ; A rep for Fordham confirmed to The Huffington Post that the comedian’s degree was rescinded, explaining in a statement that the school “has taken this extraordinary step in light of Mr. Cosby’s now-public court depositions that confirm many of the allegations made against him by numerous women.” ; The statement continued: “A …

First reported by TMZ, Fordham University in New York City has revoked the honorary doctorate ;that was awarded to the actor in 2001. ;

On Thursday, members of the Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to pull the 78-year-old’s degree, marking the first time the school has done so in its 174-year history. ;

A rep for Fordham confirmed to The Huffington Post that the comedian’s degree was rescinded, explaining in a statement that the school “has taken this extraordinary step in light of Mr. Cosby’s now-public court depositions that confirm many of the allegations made against him by numerous women.” ;

The statement continued: “A recipient’s actions would have to be both unambiguously dishonorable and have a deep impact. By his own admission, Mr. Cosby’s sexual exploitation of women was premeditated and ongoing. Equally appalling is his longtime strategy of denigrating the reputations of women who accused him of such actions.” ;

The school went on to say the fact that Cosby was “willing to drug and rape women for his sexual gratification, and further damage those same women’s reputations and careers to obscure his guilt, hurt not only his victims, but all women, and is beyond the pale.”

The school’s decision comes after more than 40 women came forward ;in recent months with claims of sexual assault and sexual misconduct against “The Cosby Show” star. ;

Fordham’s actions follow Spelman University’s decision in July to discontinue its endowed professorship ;with Cosby. Though Cosby has yet to face criminal charges stemming from the allegations, the public fall-out includes a the removal of a ;bronze bust of the actor from Disneyland, NYU’s decision to remove Cosby’s name from its Future Filmmakers Workshop, ;and the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art stating that she would never have moved forward with an exhibit featuring the artworks owned by the comedian, had she been aware of the allegations against him.

;Read Fordham’s full statement: ;

In 2001, Fordham University presented comedian and actor Bill Cosby with an honorary doctor of fine arts degree, not least because of the significant role he played in breaking the color barrier in American television and popular culture, and his position as an inspirational figure for millions of African Americans. At the time, there was no public awareness of the allegations of rape against him.

Today Joseph M. McShane, SJ, president of Fordham, put before the University Board of Trustees a motion to rescind Mr. Cosby’s honorary degree. The trustees voted unanimouslyto do so, officially rescinding Mr. Cosby’s Fordham degree. The University has taken this extraordinary step in light of Mr. Cosby’s now-public court depositions that confirm many of the allegations made against him by numerous women.

Fordham has never before rescinded an honorary degree. A recipient’s actions would have to be both unambiguously dishonorable and have a deep impact. By his own admission, Mr. Cosby’s sexual exploitation of women was premeditated and ongoing. Equally appalling is his longtime strategy of denigrating the reputations of women who accused him of such actions.

That Mr. Cosby was willing to drug and rape women for his sexual gratification, and further damage those same women’s reputations and careers to obscure his guilt, hurt not only his victims, but all women, and is beyond the pale.

As a Jesuit university, Fordham could no longer stand behind the degree it had bestowed upon Mr. Cosby, hence this unprecedented action.

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Fordham University Rescinds Bill Cosby’s Honorary Doctorate