Howard University Retracts Diddy’s Honorary Degree Amid Controversy

(Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

The fallout continues as Howard University has decided to retract Sean “Diddy” Combs’ honorary degree amid ongoing controversy.

On Friday (June 7), Howard University’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to revoke Diddy’s honorary degree terminating long-term relationships with the embattled Bad Boy mogul, The Hilltop reports.

In addition to rescinding the honor, the board has also decided to axe the substantial 2023 pledge agreement to the tune of $1 million expected to be fulfilled but never received by the Sean Combs Foundation.

A Howard University spokesperson released the statement below on behalf of the Howard University Board of Trustees.

The Howard University Board of Trustees voted unanimously today to accept the return by Mr. Sean Combs of the honorary degree conferred upon him in 2014. This acceptance revokes all honors and privileges associated with the degree. 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 statement reads, referencing a 2016 hotel surveillance video in which Combs can be seen assaulting his then-girlfriend Casandra “Cassie” Ventura.  

The University is unwavering in its opposition to all acts of interpersonal violence. 

The Board has also directed the University administration to immediately take the following actions: terminate a 2016 gift agreement with Mr. Combs, disband the scholarship program in his name, return his $1 million contribution, and terminate a 2023 pledge agreement with the Sean Combs Foundation.  

No payments toward the $1 million pledge have been due or made by the Sean Combs Foundation as of this date, therefore no funds are due to be returned under the 2023 pledge agreement,” the statement continues. 

While Combs quietly paid $30 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Ventura last year, detailing years of abuse, he has faced a barrage of lawsuits alleging sexual assault, harassment, and sex trafficking throughout his career.

After the release of the hotel footage, Combs attempted to make amends by taking to social media with a plea for forgiveness, though he did not address Ventura directly.

“It’s so difficult to reflect on the darkest times in your life, but sometimes you gotta do that,” he began. “I mean I hit rock bottom. But I make no excuses.” 

Diddy added, “My behavior on the video was inexcusable. I take full responsibility for my actions in that video.” He continues: “I was disgusted then when I did it, I’m disgusted now. I went and sought professional help, had to go to therapy, rehab. Had to ask God for his mercy and grace. I’m so sorry, I’m committed to being a better man each and every day, I’m not asking for forgiveness. I’m truly sorry.”

Combs attended Howard from fall 1987 to spring 1989.