Dolly Parton? Michelle Obama? Who should get an honorary degree?
First Lady Michelle Obama is eligible to receive an honorary degree from George Washington University, the student newspaper reports today, because the Board of Trustees just approved her.
It is not yet clear that she will receive a degree, but The Hatchet quotes a school official saying that he expects her to get one in the spring, especially if she agrees to deliver the commencement address. That would certainly be a coup for GWU.
Honorary degrees are given by colleges and universities at their commencement ceremonies, though the selection process can take months. Sometimes students are involved, sometimes not, and each school has its own criteria for recipients.
The degrees are said to honor someone’s work in their own field. It is a way, schools say, to recognize excellence.
The Answer Sheet wonders, though, if it is a way for some schools to get famous people to attend their graduation ceremonies.
A blogpost earlier this year at the CafeMom web site
says that Dolly Parton received an honorary degree from The University of Tennessee for her "role as a cultural ambassador, philanthropist, and lifelong advocate for education." She accepted the doctorate by saying, "So when people say something about ’Double-D,’ they’ll be thinking of something entirely different."
Meanwhile some students say they think that honorary degrees devalue the degree they have worked--and paid--to receive.
Do you think anybody should receive an honorary degree? If so, why and who?
| October 22, 2009; 3:22 PM ET
Categories: Higher Education | Tags: George Washington University, Michelle Obama, honorary degrees
Save & Share: Previous: What Kind of Sex Ed Works?
Next: What teachers think about their jobs, testing
Posted by: KS100H | October 22, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: A-Contrario | October 22, 2009 6:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: carolineC1 | October 22, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: KS100H | October 22, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: cmecyclist | October 23, 2009 4:22 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Lawrence_Kelley | October 23, 2009 5:07 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: hbc1 | October 23, 2009 5:30 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 12345leavemealone | October 23, 2009 7:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: wrybread1 | October 23, 2009 8:07 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: GRich1 | October 23, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: writinron | October 23, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.