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Some at Iowa College Opposed To Bush Getting Honorary Degree

November 4, 1987

ORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) _ A Northwestern College plan to give Vice President George Bush an honorary degree has upset some teachers and students who say the small church school is getting mixed up in presidential politics.

The fuss began about a month ago when it was announced that Bush would come to the campus Nov. 19 and be awarded an honorary degree at a special convocation. Since then the issue has been debated by Northwestern’s student government and written about in the campus newspaper.

A student Democratic group is considering protesting Bush’s appearance by issuing brightly colored stickers to those who want to attend the convocation, but also object to the honorary degree.

″For some people it’s simply the issue that this close to caucus time, whether the college intends it or not, it is somehow endorsing″ Bush for president, said Stephen Cobb, a sociology professor at the school.

Cobb is one of several faculty members who have written letters to college president Jim Bultman protesting the degree for the Republican Bush.

″You can’t disassociate George Bush from the Reagan administration,″ he said. ″And with the Iran-Contra hearings, the lying, the deception - is that something a Christian institution wants to honor?″

Bultman said once Bush agreed to visit Northwestern, his name was suggested to the six-member awards committee that selects recipients for honorary degrees. He said the award ″was never meant to be a political endorsement.″

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