Howard University Rescinds Diddy’s Honorary Degree Following Assault Video Leak: ‘No Longer Worthy to Hold the Institution’s Highest Honor’

howard university diddy degree
  • Save

howard university diddy degree
  • Save
The Howard University Founders Library. Photo Credit: Derek E. Morton

The Howard University board of trustees has voted unanimously “to accept the return” of Diddy’s honorary degree.

The Washington, D.C. university just recently confirmed the development and plans to give back a $1 million donation from Sean “Diddy” Combs. Though the news has arrived on the heels of much-publicized March raids of Diddy’s homes, not to mention multiple lawsuits alleging abuse, Howard pointed to “a recently released video” when explaining the decision.

That’s a clear-cut reference to leaked 2016 footage appearing to show the embattled music mogul assaulting Cassie Ventura in a hotel hallway. Diddy promptly apologized for the “inexcusable” conduct, which fueled continued career fallout but, owing to the statute of limitations, won’t result in criminal charges.

Besides the abrupt end of a Peloton tie-up, said fallout includes the initially highlighted rescindment of Diddy’s honorary Howard University degree.

With the degree having been presented to the former Revolt stakeholder in 2014, the board’s vote has formally revoked “all honors and privileges,” Howard spelled out in a concise statement.

“This acceptance revokes all honors and privileges associated with the degree,” the 157-year-old institution drove home. “Accordingly, the Board has directed that his name be removed from all documents listing honorary degree recipients of Howard University.

“Mr. Combs’ behavior as captured in a recently released video is so fundamentally incompatible with Howard University’s core values and beliefs that he is deemed no longer worthy to hold the institution’s highest honor,” the university proceeded, emphasizing for good measure an unwavering “opposition to all acts of interpersonal violence.”

Furthermore, the board has called on Howard’s administration to nix a 2016 “gift agreement” with Diddy, pull the scholarship program established in his name, terminate a 2023 pledge agreement with the individual’s Sean Combs Foundation, and, as noted, return his prior $1 million donation.

(For reference, Howard previously disclosed a goal of hitting a $1 billion endowment by 2024, and per the university’s website, there’s an annual estimated cost of attendance of $55,704, including tuition of $32,878, for each on-campus undergraduate.)

While far from ideal, the return of an honorary degree is, admittedly, the least of Diddy’s problems at present.

Chief among those problems are several firmly worded lawsuits and, more pressing yet, a possible indictment in connection with the March raids. Of course, it’ll be worth closely monitoring the direction of that federal investigation, about which relatively few concrete details have surfaced thus far.