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2015 School Of Art Institute Of Chicago Commencement Ceremony

Kanye West in Chicago Source: Timothy Hiatt / Getty

In 2015 Kanye West was honored by The School Of The Art Institute of Chicago with his own honorary doctorate. The honor was bestowed upon Ye in recognition of his contributions to art and culture. At the time Ye was without a doubt one of the biggest entertainers on the planet, but now the Art Institute is none too pleased with the rapper’s antics.

The School Of The Art Institute of Chicago Rescinds Kanye West Honorary Degree Over Hate Speech-Filled Rants

Since the degree was awarded Kanye West has had several moments that generated a backlash and interestingly enough those incidents didn’t warrant the school to speak out.

With his recent anti-semitic rhetoric, however, the school is now taking back West’s honorary degree. The action comes after a petition was started to strip West of the honor.

“Regardless of his contribution prior to the receipt of this award, it is harmful to allow Ye, as he is presently known, to continue to use the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to help legitimize hatred and violence,” the petition read in part.

“This harm impacts the artists, designers and scholars affiliated to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and their values of justice, compassion, and free expression without hatred.”

SAIC President Elissa Tenny responded to the petition in a letter.

“As a community, we know that there are varying opinions on what our School’s response should be––even as we all agree that his behavior is indefensible.” Jenny continued calling Ye’s comments “disgusting and condemnable” and have been “painful for our entire community.”

“This was a difficult decision to make, and one that has been deliberated thoroughly,” Tenny wrote.

The institute has also released a formal statement on the matter.

“The School of the Art Institute of Chicago condemns and repudiates Kanye West’s (now know as Ye) anti-Black, antisemitic, racist, and dangerous statements, particularly those directed at Black and Jewish communities. Ye’s actions do not align with SAIC’s mission and values, and we’ve rescinded his honorary degree.”


This is the first time in 80 years the school has had to revoke a degree. For Ye, this is just another loss in recent months of trying to achieve what he calls “freedom.”



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