Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass formally cuts ties with alumnus Bill Cosby

By Aviva Luttrell

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Comedian Bill Cosby entertains a crowd during a NAACP show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in Philadelphia,  on Tuesday, July 13, 2004. (MCT)

Comedian Bill Cosby entertains a crowd during a NAACP show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in Philadelphia, on Tuesday, July 13, 2004. (MCT)

The University of Massachusetts has formally cut ties with alumnus Bill Cosby amid allegations that he sexually assaulted more than a dozen women.

Cosby received a master’s and a doctorate in education from UMass in 1976, and remained involved in the school, including serving as an honorary co-chairman of the University’s $300 million fundraising campaign until Wednesday. UMass spokesperson Edward Blaguszewski told the Boston Globe that University officials had asked Cosby to step down from the capital campaign.

“He no longer has any affiliation with the campaign nor does he serve in any other capacity for the University,” Blaguszewski said in a statement to the Globe.

The University’s decision comes after Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley urged UMass to end its relationship with the entertainer.

“At a time when the state is focused on prevention and response to sexual assaults on campus, allowing Mr. Cosby to continue to represent our state university sends the exact wrong message,” Coakley wrote in a letter to University, as reported by the Globe.

Coakley wrote that although Cosby hasn’t been criminally charged or convicted, the UMass community has the discretion to decide who should be the “face” of the University.

Cosby’s lawyer said the allegations are “unsubstantiated,” according to the Globe.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Cosby and his wife Camille have donated between $250,000 and $499,999 to the University, according to a recent report on donations. Cosby also did a benefit performance in 2004 that raised $1.5 million for UMass.

Cosby also has relationships with several other Massachusetts colleges.

Boston University awarded Cosby an honorary doctorate of humane letters during the school’s graduation ceremony last May, according to the Boston Herald. He was also the commencement speaker at BU’s School of Education graduation in 2013.

Berklee College of Music in Boston, which gave Cosby an honorary doctor of music degree in 2004, has also cut ties with the comedian, removing his name from an online scholarship it awards.

The Herald also reported that Tufts University awarded Cosby the Eliot-Pearson Award for Excellence in Children’s Median in 2011.

High Point University in North Carolina has temporarily removed Cosby from its advisory board, according to the Globe.

Cosby still serves on the Board of Trustees at his undergraduate alma mater Temple University.

Aviva Luttrell can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @AvivaLuttrell.

3 Comments

3 Responses to “UMass formally cuts ties with alumnus Bill Cosby”

  1. Ken on November 28th, 2014 2:56 pm

    Re. the university’s cutting ties with Bill Cosby:

    I was a graduate business student at UMass while Cosby was given a doctorate in education. The details of his “studies” were the subject of many jokes. As we recall, he was excused from most otherwise required course work, given “life credit” for the rest, and his dissertaion was on the “educational benefits” of one of his cartoon shows. I tried to see it at the library but was told that it was “restricted” and unavailable to anyone who did not have Mr. Cosby’s personal permission.

    Regardless of the outcome of the current investigations into Mr. Cosby’s past relationships with women, UMass’ drooling enthusiasm to award unearned degrees to other than qualified but politically correct people remains a stain.

  2. Sana on November 29th, 2014 12:12 am

    If Bill Cosby is a serial rapist, does that negate everything else about him? Food for thought: “Outside the ‘Rapist Box’: Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, and my Father” http://embodiedexperiments.com/outside-the-rapist-box-bill-cosby-woody-allen-and-my-father/

  3. Black Panther on December 25th, 2014 10:01 am

    George E. Norcross III is behind this Sabotage and set up against Bill Cosby who was good friends with Lewis Katz.

    Norcross is using Social media to defame Cosby with the instutions and African American Community.
    Norcross is taking down black leaders by destroying their reputation with lies

    Norcross should be investigated for the mysterious political hits on Lewis Katz, E. Steven Collins, John Sheridan, William Buckman and setting up sabotage on Jerry Mondinsire and many other black officials. Norcross paid off the NJ and PA NAACP who made a deal to not support their own people. Richard Smith took a big bribe

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