EDINBURGH, Scotland — Donald Trump was in Scotland on Friday to receive an honorary doctorate in business from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, despite protests from local residents who claim his massive $1.2 billion golf resort development could force them out of their homes.
Some academics from the university joined the campaign against Trump, arguing that the tycoon doesn't deserve the degree. But the university counters that students have much to learn from his business savvy.
Local homeowners claim Trump wants to force them out to make room for his resort, expected to open next summer with a five-star hotel, more than 1,000 homes and two golf courses.
"That is not the work of an honorable businessman," said David Kennedy, a former head of the university.
Tripping Up Trump, the protest group opposing the development, collected an online petition with 6,500 signatures against the honorary degree in four days. Local resident Susan Munro presented the petition to the university Wednesday.
"If I had one thing to say to Mr. Trump it would be 'Go home,' " she said. "As for Robert Gordon University, it is all about the money; they are just after his money."
Ian Wood, the chancellor of Robert Gordon University, hailed the tycoon's "visionary world-class golf investment," which he said would "put Scotland on the world golfing map."