Spelman College “Discontinues” the Cosby Endowed Professorship

SpelmanA quarter century ago, Spelman College, a highly rated liberal arts educational institution for African American women in Atlanta, received a $20 million gift from Bill and Camille Cosby. As a result, an endowed visiting professorship was established at the college and in 1996, the college opened the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Academic Center.

Last December, when accusations of rape or sexual assault by more than two dozen women against Bill Cosby were reported in the press, Spelman College “suspended” the visiting professorship. The scholar who was serving as the Cosby Endowed Professor for the 2014-15 academic year was listed as simply as the “Spelman Distinguished Visiting Scholar.”

Now, after the contents of a 2005 deposition were released in which Cosby admitted to several extramarital affairs and procuring Quaaludes for use during sex, Spelman College has decided to eliminate the Cosby Professorship.

A statement was released by the college that read: “The William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship at Spelman College has been discontinued.” The college said the “related funds” were returned to the Clara Elizabeth Jackson Carter Foundation, which was founded by Camille Cosby in honor of her mother.


Comments (4)

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  1. Michael says:

    In my view, Spelman College should be dutifully ashamed for caving into political pressure to severe their ties with Dr. William “Bill” Cosby. Spelman College, I would like to know if you will be willing to return every dollar Dr. William and Camille Cosby donated to your school.

    If you’re so upset with “Bill” Cosby and the numerous allegations being filed against him, I would like to know are you as equally upset with your numerous corporate sponsors who have exploited people from the African Diaspora from the Lily Corporation, the Mellon Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Merck, the Ford Foundation, Aramark, or Exxon Mobil, .etc.

    In my view, the historical and current atrocities being committed by the aforementioned, pales in comparison to the “allegations” by “Bill” Cosby. Let’s be clear, I’m not a staunch supporter of “Bill” Cosby based upon his linguistic bullying of Blacks from the lower end of the economic ladder and his utter failure to address both institutional and structural racism in America. In lieu of that, Spelman College should be disappointed in their rash decision on “Bill” Cosby.

  2. Sheryl McCarthy says:

    I agree with Spelman’s decision to discontinue the visiting professorship that was endowed by Bill and Camille Crosby. The college is not caving to political pressure as Michael, above, suggests, but taking a stand in defense of women and in defense of the women Cosby sexually exploited. His sins are appalling, and why wouldn’t a black women’s college make a statement about it?
    At the same time, I would also like to know if the college plans to return all of the money it was given by the Cosbys for the fellowship. If not, then it isn’t making much of a statement.

  3. Michael says:

    Re: Sheryl McCarthy;

    It appears that you obliviously missed my points as it pertains to Spelman College decision to discontinue its relationship with Dr. William “Bill” and Camille Cosby on numerous levels. Further, anyone with an inkling of intelligence and morality wouldn’t condone the behavior of “Bill” Cosby.

    If you’re so bothered by “Bill” Cosby, then, you should find it more appalling in the behavior of the Rockefeller’s (see “Titan” by Richard Chernow for further understanding) both historically and currently. Last point, have you displayed the same outrage for the corporatist, neoliberal, and war mongering President Obama and his foreign policies that’s resulted in the deaths of tens thousands of people. In close, I simply view your comments as selective outrage.

  4. Gayle says:

    Does anyone know if the Building named for Camille Cosby will have her name removed or removal of her last name and replaced by her maiden name?

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