Alumni, faculty disappointed by Board’s decision to not rescind Giuliani degree

By Madison Weber ’23, Staff Writer and Social Media Editor

Photo by ElevenPhotographs on Unsplash

By Madison Weber ’23, Staff Writer and Social Media Editor

Following the Board’s decision to not rescind Rudy Giulani’s honorary degree, strong emotions could be found on various levels of the Fisher community.

2017 alumn Kyle Cataldo, heard about the Board’s decision via social media where it had “spread like wildfire.”

Cataldo said he was disappointed in the Board and felt the decision “did not align with Fisher’s core values.” As a result, Cataldo wonders if Fisher will see longer term effects of this verdict.

“Maybe alumni won’t be as gracious in giving back,” he said. “Prospective students may see hypocrisy. Students look for schools with the same values.” 

MORE | Fisher community calls on school to revoke Giuliani’s honorary degree after Capitol riots

Professor Mary Loporcaro was St. John Fisher College’s first female student, as she attended Nazareth College and needed permission to take Italian at Fisher as Nazareth did not offer the class. She referred to rescinding Giuliani’s degree as a way to “stand by our Fisher Creed.”

“Our Board members respect the Fisher promise,” Lobrorcaro said. “That’s why we should hear from them.” For Loporcaro, the decision to not rescind and to “honor a man who helped foment a violent insurrection” can be described as one that hurts. 

Loprocaro feels that as a trained academic, it is her obligation to uncover the truth, and for anyone to try to stifle that would be negating who and what they are. “We denounce that man, not his political party.” 

Dr. Donald Muench, said he is “disappointed, but not very surprised” by the decision. Muench referred to a quote from the 1971 St. John Fisher catalog that speaks on the mission at the school “to be both that of a transmitter of accepted values and that of a critic and goad, re scrutinizing the accepted, and challenging men to better ways of thinking and of living.”

MORE | Fisher fails to make decision regarding Giuliani, so alumni pen letter

This is why Muench was hoping the Board would make what he deems the right decision in this situation. 

Muench has proposed to the Faculty Assembly that they pass a resolution of Censure to condemn Giuliani’s actions and ask him to return his degree voluntarily. As the Board has stated that no further action will be taken after they failed to get a ⅔ vote to rescind, that would be the only way for Giuliani to lose his degree. 

The Cardinal Courier reached out to the Board of Trustees, but they declined to comment.

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