Yellowstone From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3071 posts, RR: 7 Posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3609 times:
So I just graduated from Harvard University on Thursday, and like most university commencements, the ceremony included the awarding of several honorary degrees. Most of them went to people I had never heard of, but two went to rather famous individuals: former Supreme Court justice David Souter, our commencement speaker, and famed actress Meryl Streep.
Who was the most famous/coolest person to receive an honorary degree at your graduation?
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PacNWJet From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 869 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3537 times:
Well, at the university where I currently teach the graduation speaker who seemed to spark the greatest enthusiasm by graduating seniors was the actor Levar Burton. He was much more popular than the politicians, writers, scientists, activists, jurists, and scholars who have spoken at graduation over the years.
PacNWjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 869 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3229 times:
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 5): What's the point in "awarding" these "degrees" to celebrities? They never went the the school in the first place, so why the "award"?? That is what I don't understand.....
Technically, they can't use the award to gain a new career. So, what's the point besides motiviating the graduates who actually worked their butt off in order to graduate from college?
Excellent question. The university where I was an undergraduate has never once awarded an honorary degree on the logic that it devalues earned degrees of any kind. The university where I currently teach does award honorary degrees to commencement speakers, a practice I have always found distasteful. I spent six years earning a Ph.D. and it kills me that people of dubious merit are "honored" with a degree no matter how well-meaning the practice may be. Why not just offer them heartfelt thanks for their time and effort to speak at commencement and be done with it.
pdxtriple7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3157 times:
In my opinion, we had a disappointing year. The main highlights for honorary degrees included Temple Grandin and Muhammad Yunus. Yunus gave a pretty generic speech that read more like his book rather than actually speaking to us as graduates. I much rather would've preferred Coach K to be our graduation speaker. He's actually quite insightful. At least we won two national championships this year (Basketball and Lacrosse).
Last year, Oprah earned an honorary degree. We tend to not pull very "renowned" graduation speakers although important speakers visit campus throughout the year.
AKiss20 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 549 posts, RR: 5 Reply 12, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3109 times:
Ya I don't get honorary degrees as well. My school (MIT) has never and never will award an honorary degree to anyone. We did award Winston Churchill an honorary lectureship and he spent 3 days giving lectures on WWII iirc.
At my sister's university (George Washington) they had Rahm Emanuel for her commencement and Michelle Obama this year, and they both got honorary degrees. Pretty cool!
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are
PacNWjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 869 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3024 times:
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 8): Has the University of Washington "awarded" a honorary "degree"??
From the University of Washington website:
"The first University of Washington honorary degree, a Doctor of Laws, was conferred in 1885 by the territorial university upon Orange Jacobs, who was the chief justice of the supreme court of the Territory of Washington from 1871-1875, a member of the 44th and 45th Congresses (1875-1879), and the mayor of Seattle (1880)....Between 1894 and 2002, the University awarded only one honorary degree....In 2002, the Faculty Senate passed legislation that specified procedures for resuming the practice of awarding honorary degrees, with the responsibility for recommending them vested in the Faculty Council on University Relations. Since then, eleven honorary doctorate degrees have been awarded...."
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11500 posts, RR: 62 Reply 18, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2785 times:
I'm not exactly bothered if there are any, because they won't have worked their asses of for years to get that piece of paper. What does bother me is that my course is technically over (bar me and a couple of other people getting extra time and being put on a later review board due to a certain volcano standing us abroad) yet I have to wait until January/February 2011 for the graduation ceremony. Is that normal elsewhere in the world, I know my friends here in the UK at other Universities don't have to wait that long?
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
petertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3270 posts, RR: 12 Reply 19, posted (3 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2755 times:
Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 18): s that normal elsewhere in the world, I know my friends here in the UK at other Universities don't have to wait that long?
At my college at least they hold graduations at the end of every semester (3 months). But since most students graduate at the end of the school year, the end-of-year graduation will be more elaborate. I did an accelerated course. Therefor I graduated at the end of the 2nd semester, the graduation was a bit dull. A few speeches by teachers and students, a few drinks and that's about it. But at least I had the documents which helped when applying for jobs!
Adam T. From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 957 posts, RR: 6 Reply 20, posted (3 years 6 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2646 times:
The University of Virginia (where I got my Masters degree) does not have honorary degrees either I believe. They do give out some sort of award or acknowledgment for guest speakers at commencements but no honorary degrees. To be honest i'm surprised that any of the Ivy League schools or top tier schools give out honorary degrees.