What Are Some Universities That Have Offered Controversial Honorary Degrees?

What Are Some Universities That Have Offered Controversial Honorary Degrees?

Some universities that have offered controversial honorary degrees include Brown University, Fordham University and Marquette University, all of which awarded now-defamed actor Bill Cosby an honorary degree. In addition, the University of St. Andrews conferred a controversial degree upon Michael Douglas for his outstanding contributions to film.

The University of St. Andrews timed Michael Douglas' honorary degree to coincide with the launch of its Department of Film Studies. The timing prompted some to call Douglas's honorary degree a publicity stunt.

Boston University awarded Cosby an honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters degree in 2014. More than a dozen institutions awarded Cosby an honorary degree, though many rescinded their awards after allegations surfaced about Cosby's offensive and possibly illegal behavior.

Long Island University awarded a controversial honorary degree when it awarded Kermit the Frog a Doctor of Amphibious Letters. Kermit gave an acceptance speech that included encouraging students to take steps to conserve the environment.

Southampton Solent University awarded Dannii Minogue a controversial honorary Doctor of Media for contributions to the entertainment industry. The choice prompted a backlash from people who questioned the decision.

Roald Hoffmann received honorary degrees from the University of Arizona and the University of Central Florida. Hoffmann won a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1981. Even Hoffmann stated that his honorary degrees are somewhat controversial because he believes that some universities convey honorary degrees as a publicity plea.