Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Honorary Degrees

This honorary degree business puzzles me. At Mr. Lush’s graduation, a Doctorate of Human Letters was given to some lady. He said it carries all the rights etc that one is entitled to with that degree. This upcoming weekend either SLU or Wash U is giving an honorary degree to some woman who evidently spoke out against women going to work and people are in an uproar. Oh my god, how could they???

So it got me thinking? Do people really take those seriously? I mean, heck, Kermit received his from South Hampton College. How serious can an honorary degree be? Didn’t GW receive an honorary degree from Yale? Pulleeze. I mean, I wouldn’t put an honorary degree on an application-it wouldn’t get verified, would it??

So, being the inquisitive person I am, I looked it up. Evidently yes, in some situations, honorary degrees are treated with respect, but that’s rare and only if the person is HIGHLY recognized in their field. Which, enters this “doctorate of human letters” business. Its not even a real degree. As in, a student can’t go to school to receive that degree. Its basically a way for the school to give a degree that doesn’t mean anything to someone that doesn’t mean anything and for everyone to be aware that it’s a fake. If that’s the case, who cares?? Why even do it? Do other countries do it? I couldn't find anything that says its such a common practice as it is here.

Of course a lot of schools get money from these people, but what about the other times? Like this lady at Mr. Lush’s graduation works in education, as in lower education. I don’t think she donated a ton of money to the school. So why did they give it to her? Really, just to recognize her good work? I mean, hey, I’m sure she deserves the recognition and that’s not what this is about. You can't have it be about money sometimes and about recognition other times.

I’m just wondering what’s the point of the degree if it doesn’t mean anything? Isn’t it really just the equivalent of a “Certificate of Recognition” that you got in 6th grade for good attendance??

No comments: