The board of regents of Texas Tech University in Lubbock has decided to award an honorary degree to Timothy Cole. In 1985, Cole was expelled from the university after he had been accused of raping a White woman student. He was convicted a year later and sent to prison. Cole died in prison in 1999. A decade later, DNA analysis determined that Cole was not the rapist. He was posthumously pardoned by Texas Governor Rick Perry.
M. Duane Nellis, president of Texas Tech University, stated that “through no fault of his own, Timothy Cole did not realize the joyous moment of graduation and experience the rewards of earning a college degree. In this bittersweet moment, we are proud to posthumously bestow this much deserved honorary degree in Law and Social Justice on Timothy and hope it lends to the long and difficult healing process the Cole family has endured.”
Cole’s family will travel to Lubbock to receive the award in May.
The complete story can be found in Fred McKinley’s book, A Plea For Justice: The Timothy Cole Story (Eakin Press, 2010).