Being able to point to a list of notable alumni has long been a source of pride for many colleges and universities, and a way to woo prospective students to apply. Then there are the notorious alumni… For the same reason the University of Washington doesn’t readily promote itself as Ted Bundy’s alma mater, students at Syracuse University would rather not have Rudy Giuliani associated with their school—particularly as his degree is an honorary one. As such, The College Post reports that the university’s Student Association and Student Bar Association are currently petitioning the school to revoke the honorary doctorate that was bestowed upon Giuliani by Syracuse’s College of Law.
“When he received his honorary degree back in 1989, he might have portrayed the values or initiatives of the school then,” Mazzy Kaila, executive president of the Student Bar Association told The Daily Orange, Syracuse’s student newspaper. “I don’t think there’s any room for that now.”
It’s not the first time that Syracuse students have taken issue with the disgraced former mayor of New York City, whose own license to practice law in the state of New York has been suspended. According to The College Post, “Giuliani first faced a backlash at SU when he was invited to be the commencement speaker in 2002. The then-mayor of New York City faced flak for his policing practices following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.”
Nor would rescinding Rudy’s degree be unprecedented. As the face of Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, Giuliani’s professionalism—and at times, his sobriety—have been called into question as he’s pushed The Big Lie. On January 12, 2021, less than a week after the insurrection on the Capitol, Vermont’s Middlebury College took back its 2005 honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Rudy, and in August, Philadelphia’s Drexel University revoked the honorary degree its law school granted to Giuliani back in 2009.
“He has been suspended for his law license, and undermined our elections, and has advocated for really, really absurd things,” Student Association president David Bruen told The College Post. “He still has an honorary degree from this university. And I think the longer that lasts, the more it kind of devalues an honorary degree from the College of Law.”
Now it’s up to the school’s administration to take further action.
(Via The College Post)