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Many celebrities on our list hold not one, but two or even three honorary doctorates from some of the most prestigious universities in the world. As colleges and universities across the nation confer degrees to graduating seniors in the next few weeks, some celebrities, journalists and politicians will be awarded with honorary degrees. Alec Baldwin, who attended George Washington University before transferring to New York University, returned to NYU in 2010 and picked up an honorary doctor of fine arts degree. Sean Combs, aka Puff Daddy, dropped out of Howard University in the '90s, but returned nearly 25 years later. John Legend returned to his alma mater in 2014 and picked up an honorary doctorate of music. Charlie Day gave a hilarious commencement speech, honored with a Doctorate of Music from Yale, 14 of the most famous kids in college this semester. Parton, a multi-Grammy award winner and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame said she felt proud to receive the honor from her home state. The comedian and satire news anchor's alma mater, Northwestern University, honored him with a Doctorate of Fine Arts in 2011. Freeman also has an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Boston University, which he received in 2013 during BU's 140th commencement. Paul Chiasson/AP, Credit: Note that honorary degrees are not the same as “actual” degrees, though the … The music legend earned an honorary doctorate degree in humanities from Howard in 2014. William Thomas Cain/Getty Images, Credit: Perhaps one of the most famed authors of all time, J.K. Rowling is also likely one of the most decorated — with honorary degrees, that is. These are given to people who merit special recognition for outstanding achievement and distinction in a field or activity consistent with the values and commitments of the University. Ono also holds two more honorary doctorates from the University of Liverpool (which she supports in memory of her late husband) and Bard College. The legendary film star was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Bates College during his 2012 commencement speech. Washington, who was a presidential scholar for the arts at GW, also delivered the commencement speech. The actor began a scholarship fund in 2010 called the Alec Baldwin Drama Scholarship Fund that helps students afford an NYU Tisch education. the University of Exeter, University of St. Andrews, Napier University, University of Edinburgh, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and the University of Aberdeen. Michelle Obama. Singer Ed Sheeran is just one of the latest in a long line of celebrities to pick up an honorary degree for "outstanding contributions" in their field. Scholars can be awarded honorary degrees, but so can anyone else. as well as other partner offers and accept our. "Tonight Show" host and former SNL cast member Jimmy Fallon attended the College of Saint Rose in the 1990s but left to purse a career in television before graduating. Muhammad Ali is the recipient of two honorary Doctorates of Humanities from Princeton University and Muhlenberg College for his perseverance in and out of the ring. He returned in 2009 to present the school's commencement address and was honored with both his Bachelor's degree and an honorary doctorate for his television successes. Kris Connor/Getty Images, Credit: The multi-Grammy Award winner, who never finished high school, called the doctorate a great honor. This is good news, because celebrity honorary degree-itis can actually become an addiction: Desmond Tutu has 30. After high school, Nicholson went to the west coast with the intention of attending college and wound up working in Hollywood instead. The actor-producer was awarded an honorary doctorate from Howard University this year for his achievements in film. Offers may be subject to change without notice. Sign up for Innovation Inc. By clicking ‘Sign up’, you agree to receive marketing emails from Business Insider The public was stunned in May when Kanye West – the artist whose rap album titled "The College Dropout" won the Grammy in 2005 – was honored with a doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images, Credit: Most recently, Franklin graced the stage at Harvard's 2014 commencement to accept her honor and perform the national anthem. William Shatner gained a cult following for his repeated on-screen portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk in the "Star Trek" series. It has been a tradition to give celebrities an honorary degree. New Jersey native and frontman of the eponymously named world-famous rock band, Jon Bon Jovi has two honorary doctorates: one from Monmouth University, awarded in 2001, and another from Rutgers University at Camden, awarded earlier this year for his leadership in civic justice and equality. Swansea University has given honorary degrees to the actress Ruth Madoc and Wales rugby winger Shane Williams, while opera singer Bryn Terfel has received an honorary … Tennessee State University alumni Oprah Winfrey added another line to her esteemed résumé in 2009, picking up an honorary doctor of humane letters from Duke University. Michelle Obama The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama received an honorary doctor of law degree from the University of Maryland near Washington in 2013. Updated September 01, 2016 at 06:03 PM EDT, Credit: During the commencement speech he told students his "first job as commencement speaker is to illustrate that life is not fair," in ironic reference to his honor. Here's 10 who have honorary doctorates including President Obama and Maya Angelou. LL Cool J received an honorary degree from Northeastern University last year during his daughter's own graduation ceremony from the university. Jimmy Kimmel dropped out of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas in 1986 after just one year of enrollment. Dancer and choreographer Kaffy Shafau-Ameh has been awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Escae Benin University in Benin Republic, Igbere TV reports. The degree is typically a doctorate or, less commonly, a master's degree, and may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous postsecondary education. Kerry Washington graduated Phi Beta Kappa from George Washington University in 1998 and picked up additional honors from the university 15 years later. Rowling has received a total of seven honorary degrees.Apparently there's more than one way to earn a doctorate. Diddy enrolled in the university back in 1990 but dropped out shortly after to pursue a music career. In 2008, Celine Dion was honored with a Doctorate of Music from Quebec City's Université Laval, the oldest center of education in Canada. Doctor McCartney was previously Sir McCartney, after he was knighted in 1996. The Open University’s Charter includes provision for the Senate to award the honorary degrees of Doctor of the University (DUniv) and Master of the University (MUniv). An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university has waived all of the usual requirements, such as matriculation, attendance, course credits, a dissertation, and the passing of comprehensive examinations. Paul McCartney was honored with a Doctorate of Music from Yale in 2008 for his solo and collaborative achievements in music and legendary status as a Beatle. 10 funny mockumentaries to remind us about the absurdity of life, Family-friendly Halloween films for boos big and small. Here’s a short list . Academy Award and Tony winner Denzel Washington delivered the commencement address at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, where he also received an honorary doctorate. University of Exeter alum J.K. Rowling earned an honorary degree after the publication of five Harry Potter books. 1) Celebrities are given honorary degrees all the time, generally because of their celebrity status and not because they completed any study or demonstrated any proficiency. Aretha Franklin went Ivy in 2014, landing an honorary doctor of arts degree from Harvard University. Christopher Furlong/GettyJ.K. Kafayat Oluwatoyin Shafau, popularly known by her stage name Kaffy bags honorary doctorate degree from ESCAE Benin University in the Republic of Benin today. Ron Hoskins/Getty Images, Credit: Account active The former First Lady has received a number of honorary degrees from schools like George Washington University and Bowie State University. Kanye has a PhD from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago which he was awarded in … Jack Nicholson earned his degree in 2011, picking up an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Brown University. In particular, politicians, donors, and celebrities are sometimes honored by universities for entirely non-academic reasons. You Can Buy an Honorary Doctorate, 100% Online, affordably. General Omar Bradley, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Frank Lloyd Wright are a few recipients of honorary degrees from Temple University. Here are 20 celebrities who received honorary degrees due to their musical talent, contributions to the fashion world, philanthropic achievements and advocacy for education. The Honorary Degree is the highest form of recognition offered by Thompson Rivers University. Celebrities With Honorary Degrees A-List Doctorates: Stars With Honorary Degrees. The author was awarded her doctor honoris causa by the University of Edinburgh. On his show, "The Colbert Report," in 2006 he aired a sketch in which he jokingly made light of the "Dr." title he received from Knox College earlier that year. P. Diddy received an honorary doctorate from the college he dropped out of. If you're not an actor, have character and always be true to yourself.". Bono stopped by the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, giving the school's commencement address and landing an honorary doctor of laws degree. Paul Marotta/Getty Images, Credit: Keep reading to find out which universities bestowed “Dr.” upon the likes of Kanye West, Magic Johnson, and Jon Bon Jovi. Sean "P. Diddy" Combs became Dr. Combs when he was honored with a Doctorate in Humanities during his commencement address at Howard University in 2014. The greatest heavyweight champion in history is more than just a boxer. Bobby Bank/WireImage, Credit: Celebrities with advanced degrees Celebrity Degree Field Institution Known for Milo Aukerman: PhD: The rapper and actor, who never went to college himself, even got to present her with her diploma. Accomplished actress Kerry Washington returned to her alma mater, George Washington University, in 2013 to receive an honorary doctorate. The MUniv recognises work that has been influential at a regional or national … If you're not an actor, have character and always be true to yourself.". Before that, she received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree Duke in 2009 and a Fine Arts degree … Meryl Streep has three Ivy League honorary … Magic!". Denzel Washington, who graduated from Fordham University in 1977, earned an honorary doctor of arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he gave the commencement address in 2011. Purchase Same Day Digital Copies too. Kanye West, who famously dropped out of college while attending Chicago State University, was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in 2015, picking up the honor from the Art Institute of Chicago. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. 15 / 35. Baldwin earned a bachelor's in 1994 (he started his degree in 1979 but never finished) from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and returned in 2010 to receive an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts. Ali has embarked on goodwill missions to Afghanistan and North Korea and been recognized with a lifetime achievement award from Amnesty International. Not only does John Legend have an honorary doctorate of music from the University of Pennsylvania, but there are also plenty of other actors with similar degrees, including stars like … Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images, Credit: J.K. Rowling has received a total of seven honorary degrees. Meryl Streep is the recipient of four honorary doctorates, three of which come from the most prestigious universities in the country: Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. honored by Brown University in 2011 with an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts. Allison Shelley/Getty Images, Credit: Afghanistan and North Korea and been recognized with a lifetime achievement award from Amnesty International. Stew Milne/AP, Credit: Late night talk-show host, former SNL writer, and Harvard graduate Conan O'Brien received an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth University in 2011. 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