- The Washington Times - Friday, August 18, 2017

Nearly 20,000 people signed a petition presented Friday to Lehigh University President John D. Simon, urging the Pennsylvania college to rescind President Trump’s honorary degree.

Mr. Trump was the 1988 commencement speaker at the private Bethlehem school — his late brother’s alma mater — and was honored with the degree at the time.

A change.org petition, which reached more than 18,600 signatures as of Friday afternoon, was presented to Mr. Simon and will go through the “established governance processes,” university spokeswoman Lori Friedman told The Express-Times.

“The Board of Trustees awards honorary degrees pursuant to its powers in the university bylaws,” Ms. Friedman said. “Only the board can rescind or revoke such a degree.”

The trustees next meeting is scheduled for late October.

The petition, launched by recent Lehigh grad Kelly McCoy, says the university’s values and commitment to diversity “stand against everything Donald Trump represents.”

The petition cites the president’s controversial response to the violent white nationalist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, which resulted in a counter-protester being killed.

In a statement Monday, Lehigh’s president said “the hatred and racism exhibited by the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups that marched on the University of Virginia campus are antithetical to the values of our nation and Lehigh University and deserve universal condemnation.”

The statement made no mention of Mr. Trump.

Earlier this year, the Board of Trustees declined to act on another petition seeking to revoke Mr. Trump’s honorary degree, The Express-Times reported.

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