Chad Hardy graduated officially from BYU on Aug 15, 2008 and walked with his class in the convocation ceremony.
One month earlier, on July 13, Chad was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for ‘conduct unbecoming of a member of the Church’ (which was specifically related to his part in publishing a calendar depicting shirtless return missionaries, the “Men on a Mission Calendar”).
Shortly after that, Chad received a letter from BYU dated Sept 30 informing him that his name had been removed from the August 15th graduating class list because of his excommunication prior to the posting of his degree.
Some interesting facts about the case:
- Chris claims, “the Church [tried] very hard to try to find a moral transgression by spying on me so they could excommunicate me for that instead of having to embarrass themselves by excommunicating me over the calendar.”
- BYU has explained to Chris that if/when he ever rejoins the church and is in good standing, he may talk with them about the possibility of receiving his degree.
- The calendar made media headlines in Utah for over a year before the Church contacted him about it.
Whether you agree or disagree about Chris’s excommunication, it seems a little heavy handed for BYU to withhold the degree. I tend to agree with Chris’s statement that, “Had Hinckley been alive, he would have never allowed this to happen. He was a very media savvy man.”