St. John Fisher College bestowed a doctorate on Giuliani in 2015 in recognition of the role he played in the recovery of New York City after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Some people called on the school to rescind the degree after Giuliani, a former personal attorney to former President Donald Trump, spoke at a “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on Jan. 6 that immediately preceded the breach of the U.S. Capitol, in addition to his raising allegations that the 2020 election was rife with fraud.
The St. John Fisher College Board of Trustees said in a statement on March 12 that it was made aware of the calls and decided to hold a vote on the matter.
“The College prides itself on respecting the opinions expressed by all inside and outside of the Fisher community. The matter of rescinding an honorary degree is within the purview of the College’s Board of Trustees, as is the authority to grant the distinction,” the board said.
“After extensive Board deliberations, the Board today voted on whether to rescind the honorary degree. A decision either to grant an honorary degree, or rescind an honorary degree, requires a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the entire Board, which was not achieved. No further action will be taken.”
Vermont’s Middlebury College in January revoked an honorary degree it had given Giuliani.
“Middlebury College has made the decision to revoke the honorary degree it presented to presidential attorney Rudolph Giuliani in 2005, and has communicated this to Mr. Giuliani’s office,” the private liberal arts college said in a statement at the time.
A reason for the decision wasn’t detailed.
But the editorial board of the college’s newspaper had several days prior called for the revocation, writing in part that “Giuliani spent months peddling false claims of voter fraud in an effort to subvert the results of a free and fair democratic election.”
Giuliani led the legal team representing Trump and his campaign in a bevy of lawsuits challenging the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia, among other states. He spoke in front of several state legislatures urging them to assert their constitutional power to appoint presidential electors in a bid to have Trump declared the winner of the election.
President Joe Biden was ultimately certified as the winner by a joint session of Congress early Jan. 7 and was sworn in two weeks later.
Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.