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Nearly 30,000 have signed a petition to have Lehigh University take back Trump's honorary degree

Lehigh University
Source: Lehigh University
Lehigh University

A recent graduate's online petition to rescind President Donald Trump's honorary degree from Lehigh University has garnered nearly 30,000 signatures — and some Lehigh professors are speaking up to support the effort, lehighvalleylive.com reported.

The petition, started just last week by Lehigh journalism graduate Kelly McCoy, has been delivered to Lehigh's president, the news website reported. However, only the board of trustees of the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, university has the power to take Trump's degree away, and they don't meet until Oct. 25.

"The Board has received the petition and will consider it," Lori Friedman, Lehigh's director of media relations, told CNBC. "As an educational institution, Lehigh University values academic freedom and the open exchange of ideas. We respect the right of faculty, students and other members of the community to express their views."

The White House did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC in time for publication.

Some professors have lent their voices to support the petition, while others have opposed the honorary degree since before Trump was even the Republican presidential nominee, lehighvalleylive.com reported in 2016.

Lehigh has a precedent for revoking honorary degrees: Trustees voted to rescind comedian Bill Cosby's degree in 2015 after details of a 2005 deposition were made public, the website reported.

Read more about the petition at lehighvalleylive.com.