Who are this year’s lucky winners?
A post some time ago on Honorary Degree recipients noted that almost all of them fall clearly into one of two categories: they are either serious or celeb. Back in 2013 I provided a handy list of recent Honoraries for further analysis.
Basically, if you are a serious academic, no matter how outstanding your research, if you haven’t got your own TV series or appearing frequently in the tabloids, you really aren’t going to get the coverage. So, it does rather look like quite a few of the honorary degrees awarded this year might be for something other than sustained and outstanding achoevement in a particular field. But perhaps I’m being harsh and some of these awards are for reasons other than fleeting celebrity:
The very famous breakfast presenter Louise Minchin was recognised by the University of Chester for all of her early morning achievements.
How? Yes, Fred Dinenage got an Honorary from Southampton Solent
Cheers! Hanover College recognises Woody Harrelson for his many acting achievements.
Pele picks up yet another award, this time from Hofstra.
Bryan Ferry – Extraordinary that it took so long for Newcastle University to recognise the Roxy Music frontman’s genius
Jeff Lynne, of ELO fame, gets a scroll from BCU.
Placido Domingo – hitting all the right notes at Berklee College of Music
(nope, I’ve never heard of them either).
James Galway, perhaps not as famous as he once was, nevertheless gets an award from Rochester.
A collection of giants from the world of popular music have also been recognised by some leading institutions:
Sean Puffy Combs received a lot of publicity for his richly deserved Honorary and commencement address at Howard University.
Yoko Ono urges graduates “Let’s together be the metronome of our very troubled human culture or human race” after picking up her honorary.
Ricky Ross, legendary Deacon Blue frontman, picked up a degree from Abertay.
They don’t come cooler than this – LL Cool J was rewarded for his outstanding achievements by Northeastern.
Let’s rock as AC/DC’s Brian Johnson gets the nod from Northumbria.
And perhaps the most richly deserved is the honorary for Pitbull. Not before time.
Who can begrudge this award to rock titans Rush who picked up a collective award from the improbably named Nipissing University?
The University of Kent is recognising this celebrity triumvirate: Harry Hill, Sandy Toksvig and Robert Wyatt – all eminently worthy in their fields (well, Robert Wyatt for sure).
And Edge Hill has an equally impressive trio recognising Johnny Vegas, Harrison Birtwhistle and John Foxx.
And then, of course, for his outstanding and lengthy football career (rather than his temporary stint as manager at Old Trafford presumably), no writs can prevent us knowing that Ryan Giggs has been awarded a degree by Bolton.
Finally, and most youthfully among this collection, Aaron Porter is to be recognised by his alma mater the University of Leicester. Perhaps more serious than celebrity this one.
So, an impressive and rich crop this year. Any exceptional awards I’ve missed out?
4 thoughts on “Honorary Degree: serious or celeb 2014”
I hope James Galway’s gown has green sleeves… (I’ll get my mortar board)
Great Post â got me thinking as always.
Interesting double header this year; Martha Lane Fox seems to be getting an honorary degree from Keele and Essex in the same yearâ¦