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February 01, 2018

Steve Wynn, Bill Cosby stripped of honorary Penn degrees

Casino mogul and University of Pennsylvania alum Steve Wynn will be stripped of his honorary degree from Penn in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations.

Wynn was a member of Penn’s Board of Trustees until 2004 and has been credited with several donations to the university. In addition to losing the honor, his name will be removed from a campus plaza and a scholarship fund.

The news comes two days after a common area of Penn’s campus previously known as Wynn Commons was defaced and members of the Penn community began questioning what action, if any, the school would take in light of the allegations.

The campus outrage against Wynn also led Penn to revoke the honorary degree previously presented to Bill Cosby, who is facing a high-profile sexual assault retrial after dozens of women came forward in the last two years to allege sexual assault by the comedian, who is better known for his ties to Temple University.

“It has been a century since the University of Pennsylvania last revoked an honorary degree, and we do not take that decision – or the decision to remove Mr. Wynn’s name from the Commons and from the scholarship fund he created – lightly,” said Amy Gutmann, Penn president, and David L. Cohen, chair of the Penn board of trustees, in a joint statement.

“We view these as extraordinary and essentially unique circumstances that call for an immediate, decisive, and clearly ethical response.”

Since the reports of Wynn’s misconduct began to surface last week, Wynn resigned from his role as finance chair of the Republican National Committee, a title he had held since the inauguration of President Donald Trump.