Kevin Richardson, one of the Central Park Five, received an honorary undergraduate degree from Syracuse University, WSYR-TV reported.
As a member of the university’s class of 2020, Richardson, 46, is the school’s first honorary recipient.
Since he was a teenager, Richardson said he dreamed of attending Syracuse University.
“I feel like I belong here, that I am really here,” he commented about the campus. “It feels good to come back two years later and see people actually. I dreamed of this as a kid, being 14.”
Richardson was one of a group of five Black and Latino teenagers convicted in 1989 of brutally raping a white jogger in New York City’s Central Park. Prosecutors used coerced false confessions of the teens by police investigators who questioned them without an adult present.
In 2002, they were all exonerated when the real rapist came forward.
This isn’t the first time that Syracuse University honored Richardson. In 2019, the school established a scholarship in his name called the Our Time Has Come Kevin Richardson Scholarship.
According to WSTM, the scholarship helps underserved African American and Latino students who have a passion for social justice.