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Boston College rescinds Bill Cosby’s honorary degree

TOPSHOT - Actor and comedian Bill Cosby (center) came out of the Courthouse after the verdict in the retrial of his sexual assault case at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Penn. DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images

Boston College on Friday rescinded the honorary degree it gave Bill Cosby more than two decades ago after the comedian was convicted of sexual assault charges by a Pennsylvania jury.

The decision marks the first time the Jesuit university has revoked an honorary degree, spokesman Jack Dunn said.

“In light of his conviction, Boston College has made the decision to rescind the honorary degree it awarded to Bill Cosby in 1996,” the university announced on Twitter early Friday evening.

Dunn would not elaborate on the statement.

Cosby was found guilty Thursday of drugging and assaulting a former Temple University employee in 2004.


BC’s announcement came one day after the college said it had no plans to take back the honorary doctorate of humane letters awarded to Cosby in 1996, when he was the graduation speaker.

“As a matter of policy, we do not rescind honorary degrees, which are given to individuals based on their accomplishments at the time of the award,” Dunn told the Globe Thursday.

Also on Friday, Cosby’s alma mater, Temple University in Philadelphia, announced it would rescind an honorary degree awarded to Cosby in 1991.

Berklee College of Music awarded Cosby an honorary degree in 2004, A Berklee spokeswoman could not be reached for comment Friday night.

Globe correspondent Elise Takahama contributed and material from the Associated Press was used in this report. Martha Schick can be reached at martha.schick@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MarthaSchick.