Amid President Joe Biden's appearance at Morehouse College's commencement on Sunday, the faculty of the HBCU has voted to award him with an honorary degree, per a report by NBC News. Biden was announced as the commencement speaker for Morehouse in late April. The announcement of his appearance at the ceremony promoted concern from faculty due to displeasure with his administration's handling of Israel's conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

According to information obtained by NBC News from sources close to the situation, Biden was awarded the honorary degree with a vote of 50-38. Around twelve faculty members abstained from voting, as reported by two faculty members. Some faculty members opposed the honor or abstained due to concerns about the president's policies and the school's choice of him as commencement speaker.

Morehouse invited President Biden to speak at their September commencement. Prior to the invitation, Morehouse had planned to present him with an honorary degree. But, the faculty had to vote on the degree and they said in a statement obtained by NBC News that the vote was due to an oversight and not in response to the backlash surrounding Biden's appearance.

“It is imperative to clarify that the recent decision to convene to vote to award Biden an honorary degree is not in question because of current political affairs. The decision to call for a faculty vote is due to a mistaken oversight in the process, which traditionally includes a faculty vote that usually takes place in September.”

However, faculty members utilized the vote as a means to express their dissatisfaction with President Biden's presence. In the days preceding the vote, a few faculty members shared a letter outlining their disapproval of the honorary degree. They specifically mentioned Biden's actions regarding the conflict in Gaza.

“We recognize the honor that typically comes with having the most powerful elected person in the world speak at Morehouse. At this time, however, salient policies of the United States government are responsible for the suffering of millions of people around the planet,” a portion of the letter obtained by NBC News read.

Morehouse students and others in the Atlanta University Center have voiced their opinions on the Israel-Hamas conflict and the United States' reaction. In February, a petition signed by over 1,100 individuals, including Morehouse students, urged the Atlanta University Center Consortium to express solidarity with the Palestinian community. Furthermore, Morehouse's school publication “The Maroon Tiger” stated that campus police detained junior Psychology major Amir Childs for removing an Israeli flag.

The Maroon Tiger interviewed the student to learn about the reasons behind his actions.

“I’m hearing all these brothers talking about the importance of peace and what it means to our society and I turn around and see a flag of a country that’s bombing children and we’re supporting it…Murder is wrong, genocide is wrong, call it out anytime you see it. I have nothing against Jewish people,” Childs said. “I have nothing against the people of the Nation of Israel, but I have everything against their government.”

Morehouse College Commencement will take place on Sunday, May 19th at 10 AM EST. The commencement address will be streamed