The Slatest

Spelman College Suspends “Cosby Chair for the Humanities” Program


Tami Chappell/Reuters

Spelman College is suspending a endowed professorship program named after and in part funded by Bill and Camille Cosby, the historically black Atlanta women’s college has announced. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“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,” a school spokeswoman said. “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.”


More than 20 women have accused Cosby of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them over a period of time ranging from the 1960s to 2005. In recent weeks, as old allegations have been republicized and new ones have surfaced, NBC and Netflix have dropped Cosby projects and the Navy has revoked an honorary title bestowed on the comedian in 2011. Cosby has resigned from positions he held with Temple University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and been removed from High Point University’s board of advisers, while the Berklee College of Music has stopped giving a scholarship in his name.

Spelman noted in a Nov. 25 statement that a $20 million donation it received from the Cosbys in 1988 came from the family as a whole rather than Bill Cosby individually. Two of the Cosbys’ daughters attended Spelman, and a campus building is named for Camille Cosby.