USC rescinded comedian Bill Cosby’s honorary degree after he was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault Thursday, the University said in an email to the Daily Trojan.
The conviction is a result of allegations that Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted Andrea Constand in 2004, one of about 60 women who have accused Cosby of sexually assaulting them. Cosby could spend up to 30 years in prison, but his exact sentence will be decided at a sentencing hearing within the next 60 to 90 days.
In 1998, Cosby gave the commencement speech at USC’s 115th graduation ceremony, where he also received the honorary doctorate of fine arts. A USC News article published shortly after the ceremony described Cosby’s 40-minute speech as “part stand-up comedy and part Sunday sermon.”
Along with USC, Cosby has received a number of honorary degrees from major universities in the past — in a 1999 New York Times article, Cosby’s spokesman, David Brokaw, estimated he had received over 100 degrees.
After multiple women accused Cosby of sexual assault, numerous universities rescinded his honorary degrees in 2014 and 2015, including Brown University and Fordham University. Following his conviction on Thursday, more universities rescinded degrees awarded to Cosby, including Johns Hopkins University and Carnegie Mellon University, according to Forbes.
USC declined to comment on their decision to rescind Cosby’s honorary degree.