Lehigh University on Friday rescinded and revoked the honorary degree it issued to President Donald Trump as more groups and people try to distance themselves from the president after a mob of his supporters raided the U.S. Capitol.
The decision to strip Trump of the degree, issued to him in 1988, was made by the university’s board of trustees and followed a message from school president John Simon the day after the Capitol raid, in which he called the events “a violent assault on the foundations of our democracy — the abiding respect for the will of the people exercised in a free election and the peaceful transfer of power.”
The Lehigh University Board of Trustees on three previous occasions since 2017 had chosen to take no action when students and faculty asked for the degree to be revoked, according to university newspaper The Brown and White.
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Trump’s late brother, Frederick, graduated from Lehigh University in 1960.
The board of trustees did not provide details about why members finally took the step to strip the president of the honorary degree, but the move comes only two days after his supporters caused a deadly riot at the Capitol.
The supporters forced some lawmakers to evacuate and others to shelter in place as they broke into the Capitol when members of Congress were voting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
House and Senate members eventually certified the election, but not before four Trump supporters had died – three from medical emergencies and one after getting shot by law enforcement as she broke in. A 42-year-old Capitol Police officer also died from injuries he sustained while engaging the rioters.