University Rescinds Honorary Degree Awarded to Lance Armstrong
10:49 AM, Nov 20, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, has voted to rescind the honorary degree it conferred on embattled bicyclist Lance Armstrong, a university spokesman confirms.
"The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to rescind the honorary degree awarded to Lance Armstrong at Commencement in 2006," Kimberly M. Thurler, director of public relations at Tufts, writes in a statement to THE WEEKLY STANDARD. "While continuing to respect the significant work of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the board concluded that, in the wake of the recent report of the United States Anti-Doping Agency and its acceptance by the International Cycling Union, Mr. Armstrong’s actions as an athlete are inconsistent with the values of Tufts University."
Armstrong was recently stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after refusing to continue to cooperate with the investigation into allegations of doping.
Additionally, he "has resigned from the board of the Livestrong Foundation, the charity he began 15 years ago after testicular cancer nearly ended his career," according to Bloomberg. "The move, coming 18 days after he stepped down as the group’s chairman, is designed to further distance him from the Austin, Texas-based foundation as a way to help it survive the fall from grace of one of the world’s best-known athletes, officials said yesterday in announcing the move."
The famed bicyclist was light-hearted in his commencement address to Tufts in 2006. "You know, for a guy who barely made it out of high school, I find it incredibly ironic that I am standing up here as a doctor," said Armstrong. "I would just ask that somebody send the photos to the principal at Plano East Senior High and let him know that I, in fact, graduated from Tufts and that he has to call me Dr. Armstrong now."
But with the university's decision, he can longer claim that title.
“Lance Armstrong brings a powerful message to our graduates and commencement guests: Never give up," then Tufts president Larry Bacow said when Armstrong was announced as an honorary degree recipient in 2006. "His perseverance on the bike and in life sets an extraordinary example for all who seek to overcome obstacles and achieve their highest goals. We are honored to host him at Tufts.”
That statement, too, no longer seems to have stood the test of time.
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