Spelman College Suspends Cosby Chair in Wake of Rape Allegations


Spelman College has suspended the Cosby Chair for the Humanities in the wake of recent rape allegations against Bill Cosby.

The endowed professorship at Spelman College was established in the 80s, partly funded by $20 million from Cosby and his wife Camille Cosby. Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

On Sunday, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution exclusively learned that Spelman loosened its ties with Cosby by indefinitely suspending the William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship, which was established after Cosby and his wife, Camille, gave the school $20 million in 1987.
“The William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship was established to bring positive attention and accomplished visiting scholars to Spelman College in order to enhance our intellectual, cultural and creative life,” Spelman spokeswoman Audrey Arthur said in an email. “The current context prevents us from continuing to meet these objectives fully. Consequently, we will suspend the program until such time that the original goals can again be met.”

Spelman College follows other colleges in moving to distance itself from Cosby as reports of rape allegations against him continue to surface. In late November, Cosby resigned as an honorary co-chair of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s capital campaign. On Dec. 1, Cosby resigned from Temple University’s board of trustees.

High Point University in North Carolina also removed him from its national board of advisers, and the Berklee School of Music stopped granting a scholarship in his name.

So far the college has support of one prominent Spelman graduate.

“In light of the current accusations against Mr. Cosby, it’s appropriate to suspend the chair while the college reevaluates the relationship with Mr. Cosby, moving forward,” said Spelman alumna and best-selling writer and former Cosby Chair Pearl Cleage.

Over the weekend, Cosby told the New York Post he hoped the “black media” would stay neutral when reporting on the allegations against him.

Image via Getty.

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