I know many people who have struggled through school. Some of them young adults, some older adults, even seniors. People have worked hard to claim their education and some people are swimming in a sea of student loans. Some people will be paying off student loan debt long after they are dead!
But that is not why I am feeling some type of way. My issue today is that the news has been full of celebrities who have received HONORARY degrees. Now, I have no problem with schools showing their appreciation for celebrities donating money to the schools. I don't mind if you are giving out plagues, engraved bricks in a wall, special carvings in the school walk way, or even pictures in the hall or statues in the quad BUT I DO have a problem with the handing out of honorary degrees. Whether or not the degree is functional or worth anything is irrelevant. It is the PRINCIPLE of the thing! Anyone using the title of DOCTOR of anything should have to WORK FOR THE TITLE, not just be given the title because they donate money. I think an Honorary degree is a slap in the face to people who are working and struggling and busting their butts to achieve the accomplishment of an degree!
Look at this list of celebrities who were GIVEN Honorary degrees...
Jon Bon Jovi received a Doctorate of Humanities from Monmouth University in 2001
Yoko Ono received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Liverpool University in 2001, and she received a Doctorate of Fine Arts from Bard College.
Aretha Franklin received an Honorary Doctorate of Music in 2006 from Berklee College of Music, The University of Pennsylvania awarded her the same degree in 2007. In 2010, she received an honorary Doctorate of Music in 2010 from Yale University and the following year, she was also awarded an honorary degree by Ohio's Case Western Reserve University.
Meryl Streep, she received an honorary Doctorate from Yale University In 1983. In 2009, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Princeton University. And most recently in 2010, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Arts from Harvard University.
J.K. Rowling received an Honorary degree from Harvard University in 2008. She has also received honorary degrees from St. Andrews University (2000), Napier University (2000), the University of Exeter (2000), the University of Edinburgh (2004), and the University of Aberdeen (2006).
Kylie Minogue received an Honorary Doctorate of Health Science from Anglia Ruskin University in Essex, England in 2001.
Oprah received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree in 2009.
Muhammad Ali received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Princeton University in 2007. Two years later, Muhlenberg College honored him by awarding him an honorary doctorate.
Dolly Parton received an honorary Doctor of Humane and Musical Letters from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in 2009
George Foreman received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2008 from Texas Southern University. In 1998, he also received an honorary Doctorate from the Houston Graduate School of Theology.
Stephen Colbert received an Honorary degree from his alma mater Northwestern University in 2011.
William Shatner received an Honorary Doctorate from his alma mater McGill University.
Celine Dion received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Laval back in 2008.
Alexander Skårsgard received an Honorary degree from Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK
David Bowie received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music in Boston
Gloria Estefan received an Honorary degree from Berklee College of Music.
Steven Tyler received an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music.
Melissa Etheridge received an honorary Doctorate in Music from Berklee College of Music
Mike Tyson received an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Central State University in Ohio in 1989.
Ben Affleck received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Brown University in 2013
Willie Nelson, received an Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from Berklee College of Music, Honorary
Patrick Dempsey, received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Bowdoin College,
Morgan Freeman, received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Boston University,
Barbra Streisand, received an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Jill Scott received an honorary doctorate from Temple University
Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs received an Honorary Doctorate from Howard University
Kermit the Frog received an Honorary Doctorate of Amphibious Letters in 1996 from Southampton College
And YES, the last one does say KERMIT THE FROG! They gave a MUPPET an honorary degree, a frigging MUPPET!!!! SERIOUSLY!?!Oh, I cannot forget to mention how these honorary degrees can be taken back if a celebrity falls from grace, such as Lance Armstrong who received an Honorary degree in 2006 from Tufts University, only to have it taken back in 2012 because of his use of performance enhancing drugs.
And again, I understand that it is a way for the school to show their appreciation for whatever contributions the person has made in that field. However, doesn't this cheapen the experience for those who ACTUALLY WORKED for this honor? Many students are burning the midnight oil, dealing with biased professors, irritating students, maybe juggling school, home, and work life. School gives you VERY LITTLE time for anything else. But after years of BLOOD, SWEAT, TEARS, CURSING, PRAYING, and likely some form of alcoholic beverage... YOU MADE IT! You deserve the Pomp and Circumstance, you deserve the Cap and Gown, you deserve the Streamers and Balloons! YOU WORKED FOR IT AND IT BELONGS TO YOU!
Okay, I am done with this rant...Besides I have some homework to do and a quiz to take! But if you are in school BE ENCOURAGED, STAY MOTIVATED, KEEP PUSHING, and You WILL EXCEL!
CHEERS!!! To The REAL Class of 2014!
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