Honorary Degrees are Side Chicks

Wait…Let me explain!


There’s been a lot of talk about honorary degrees lately.  I mean you would have literally thought they just were invented.

Like someone woke up and said…you know what would be fun…let’s give out degrees to folks who haven’t taken any classes and stuff because you know they are accomplished.  And hopefully everyone will suddenly be offended and elitist and pretentious.

WELL…that ain’t happen.  Honorary Degrees have been given for ages.  If you, the educated, were not too far gone on that sunglasses and Advil status, you may remember at your commencement…the speaker…likely got an honorary degree from your institution (only a handful of them don’t do so).  Was you mad then?  Well…were you? I’m asking for my friends.

Kanye West and Tracee Ellis Ross

holding-kanye-west-honorary-degree screen_shot_20150525_at_8.png.CROP.rtstoryvar-medium

I mean this outragedness (i’m aware it’s not a word…my degrees told me so) did start when Mr. West (not Dr. West…we’ll get to that later) got his honor and then was brought back up on the spirits of the weary when Ms. Ross received her honor.

Note…I said honor.

Honorary degrees are akin to awards/honors.  They hold no educational merit.  You cannot list it on your CV or Resume as an educational achievement.  You can list it as an honor, though.

At that..if you get a Honorary Doctorate…you can’t be called Dr. out in public all willy nilly.  It’s only at the institution that awarded you the degree that you would be called Dr. as they have honored you with the title.

If you need to have it broken down a little more (this is where the analogy comes in)…

Honorary degrees are side chicks:

1. They aren’t your main chick (real degree)

2. They can’t even hold a candle to your main chick (no educational merit)

3. They are only acknowledged in certain situations among certain company (recognized only at university)

4. In public…I don’t know you (see #3)

5. They may look all amazing and shiny and like everything but really there isn’t much more to them (it’s an upgraded trophy…it’s a major award)

Get it.  Got it. Cool.

Don’t get me wrong and go around misquoting me and stuff…Honorary degrees ARE indeed AN HONOR.  It is a great thing to receive.  You are essentially being acknowledged by a great institution for the work you have done in your field.  It may be even better if it’s from your alma mater.  DOUBLE SCORE.

They are something to be proud of, something to celebrate, something to be very happy about.

So…None of these side chicks…i mean… honorary degrees are going to be coming for your BS in Basket-weaving   Believe me…you weaved too many baskets for anyone to take that away from you.


But just to make you feel better.  Every honorary degree today comes with a debt of $123,000 to Sallie Mae/Navient just so the honoree can feel like they are in the struggle with you.*

*this could very well (probably is…definitely is) be a lie.

You good now? Can we chill…or nah.  Just go watch some #BeyonceAlwaysOnBeat and clear your mind honey.  RELAX!

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