November 13, 2015 |
ADD DREXEL University to the list of colleges and universities distancing themselves from entertainer and accused serial rapist Bill Cosby. University president John Fry said yesterday that Drexel has revoked Cosby's honorary degree. "The misconduct by Bill Cosby that came to light through his sworn deposition testimony stands in clear opposition to Drexel's values. As a result, the University has revoked the honorary Drexel degree bestowed upon Mr. Cosby in 1992," Fry wrote in a statement posted on the university's website and included in a newsletter sent to faculty and staff.
November 3, 2015 |
In its 182 years, Haverford College had never confronted such a possibility: rescinding an honorary degree it had awarded. Then came the matter of Bill Cosby. For the last month, the highly selective Quaker college on the Main Line has been deliberating what to do, gathering thoughts from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and its board of managers. The review was prompted by the growing controversy around the embattled entertainer, who received an honorary doctorate from Haverford in 2002 - before allegations surfaced that he had drugged and sexually assaulted dozens of women.
October 16, 2015 |
R ENITA HILL , from suburban Pittsburgh, is suing Bill Cosby because she says he defamed her after she gave an interview claiming he sexually abused her in the 1980s. Hill, 48, appeared with Cosby as a teenager on "PicturePages," an educational children's TV show, in which Cosby helped children with activities. The suit was filed Wednesday. Hill says the incidents occurred while Cosby helped pay for her college tuition and housing until she broke off contact with him in 1987.
March 26, 2015 |
IT'S BEEN nearly 33 years since Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of murdering police officer Daniel Faulkner , and although the case has been a hot-button issue because of the trial's fairness and death-penalty sentence, it has come to the fore again in one of the most unlikely places: "The Voice. " As Nick Vadala reported on Philly.com, Philadelphia street performer Anthony Riley has left the show, despite an amazing chair-turning audition that landed him Pharrell Williams as coach.
January 9, 2015
A FEW MONTHS ago, Brandeis University disgraced its honorable namesake, the great Supreme Court justice, and decided to rescind an honorary degree and speaking invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Ali, the controversial critic of Islam, became the target of histrionic collegiate rantings, the type of florid and juvenile expression that is utterly worthless but nonetheless protected by the First Amendment. Even sound and fury, signifying nothing, gets constitutional cover. At the time, I just shook my head and hoped that the pampered, preening students would take time out from their self-important strutting and realize how fortunate they were to live in a country where unpopular voices were not only protected, but also actively solicited.
December 19, 2014 |
IT WOULD NOT have been advisable to get in Cynthia Pierce's way when she was heading somewhere. Cynthia was a woman who got things done and she didn't let obstacles interfere with her missions. One of the major goals in her life was quality and affordable education for low-income families, and she provided it. She was the founder of a Montessori school in West Philadelphia that sought to educate mostly minority students in a private-school environment that encouraged individual accomplishment.
July 14, 2014 |
Irma Stevenson exudes Paulsboro. If it's not her red-and-white Red Raiders shirt, complemented by red polished nails and a ladybug watch, maybe it's the borough-happy knickknacks filling her East Jefferson Street home. Or a comprehensive list of boards and committees she has sat on - more than can fit on a notepad-size sheet of paper. Perhaps it's the infectious and signature open-mouth laugh that she's put on display for 25 years as cohost of Eye on Paulsboro , a Web and local cable TV series dedicated to the two-square-mile borough.
May 22, 2014
Tourism review With almost 40 million visitors to the region in 2013 supporting 90,000 jobs and generating $636 million in taxes, a thriving tourism industry should have an independent review as part of a financial checkup ("Visitor groups need revisiting," May 19). The Inquirer's editorial suggested our office conduct an independent review of Philadelphia's two major tourism groups, Visit Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. We recognize the importance of analyzing the impact that these two agencies have on our city to produce tourism dollars, and through our financial and policy unit, we will conduct a study of these revenues and ascertain whether a distinct return on investment can be produced between the two agencies.
May 9, 2014 |
HAVERFORD Leafy Haverford College suddenly finds it has a commencement-speaker controversy, too - and less than 10 days to sort things out. It started when the college invited Robert J. Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, to speak and receive an honorary degree at the May 18 ceremony. Birgeneau is known for his support of undocumented and minority students, but became controversial in 2011 when university police used force on students protesting the financial handling of the state's higher education system.
May 5, 2014 |
Condoleezza Rice has backed out of delivering Rutgers University's commencement address, citing the controversy that followed her invitation. Rice, who served as secretary of state from 2005 to 2009 and before that as national security adviser, notified Rutgers president Robert L. Barchi on Saturday that she was withdrawing from delivering the address and receiving an honorary degree May 18. "Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for...