America’s favorite fictional doctor and loving dad is now plagued by rape allegations that seem to keep piling up. A slew of sexual abuse allegations have emerged in recent weeks against Bill Cosby and have tainted the legendary comedian’s reputation. The 77-year-old television star has donated millions to countless universities and foundations, some of which have chosen to stand by him while others are quietly severing ties in light of the mounting claims.
Cosby is a celebrity scholarship sponsor for Berklee College of Music’s online extension school. The college told International Business Times on Wednesday that they will withdraw his sponsorship to Berklee Online. “With the best of intentions for our student population at heart, we’re going to withdraw Mr. Cosby’s scholarship while things get sorted out,” said Allen Bush, Berklee College of Music spokesman.
Temple University is home to the Camille and Bill Cosby Scholarship in Science and has long acknowledged Cosby as a university trustee and “its most recognized alumnus.” Temple awarded Cosby his bachelor’s degree in 1971, years after he dropped out to pursue acting. The university told International Business Times it will not remove Cosby’s trustee tittle and declined further comment Wednesday. “Bill Cosby continues to be a member of the Temple University board of trustees. Beyond that, we are not making other comments,” said Ray Betzner, Temple University spokesman.
Cosby received his master’s and doctorate degrees in education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has since maintained an active presence at the university, leading student discussions and establishing academic programs. The university declined to comment Wednesday on whether Cosby will remain an influential part of the campus.
Cosby and his wife Camille recently loaned a private art collection to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. Spokesman Eddie Burke said the museum will keep the Cosby collection on display as part of its exhibition, which aims to inspire dialogue between Africa and the African diaspora. “The collection is one of the world’s most prominent private collections of African-American art and is part of the ‘Conversations: African and African-American Artworks in Dialogue’ exhibit. The exhibition will run through 2016,” Burke told International Business Times on Wednesday.
Perhaps Cosby’s largest cash contribution toward an academic intuition was to Spelman College in 1989 to the tune of $20 million -- the largest donation from an African-American to a historically black college. The money was used to construct the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center and to create a $4 million program called the William and Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Endowed Professorship in Fine Arts. Spelman College declined to comment Wednesday on whether it will keep Cosby’s program and his name on the academic facility.
Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis and supermodel Janice Dickinson have all come forward with sexual abuse allegations against Cosby. Although Cosby has refused to personally comment, his attorney said that the “decade-old, discredited allegations” were not true. However, the actor canceled appearances on CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman” and the syndicated “Queen Latifah Show.” On Wednesday, NBC canceled a Cosby sitcom project that was in development.