Five Celebrities With Honorary Degrees As Taylor Swift Gets The Nod
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Five Celebrities With Honorary Degrees As Taylor Swift Gets The Nod

Rachael Grealish March 30, 2022

She’s an 11-times Grammy Winner, she was named Artist of the Decade, and now Taylor Swift is going to have to make room in her trophy cabinet for an honorary degree – but she’s not the only celebrity to be awarded one of these prestigious accolades.

Taylor Swift’s team yesterday, Monday March 28, made the announcement the 32-year-old global star would receive an honorary doctorate of fine arts from NYU and would even speak at Yankee Stadium, on May 18, the graduation ceremony for the class of 2022.

While institutions of higher education have been criticised for many years now for awarding honorary doctorates to non-graduates, it hasn’t stopped them from honouring accomplished musicians, artists, athletes, and actors. Here’s some celebs with honorary degrees you may not have heard of.

Ed Sheeran

The 31-year-old was honoured back when he was only 24 when he was awarded an honorary doctorate from University Campus Suffolk (UCS) in Ipswich. Even though he quit school at age 16 to concentrate on his career it didn’t matter as he returned to his home county in 2015 to receive an honorary degree for his “outstanding contribution to music”.

John Legend

The 43-year-old singer did go to University – in fact he was offered admission to Harvard University and scholarships to Georgetown University and Morehouse College and he ultimately decided to attend the University of Pennsylvania for a degree in English. However, in 2012 Legend was granted an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Howard University at the 144th Commencement Exercises for his musical talent and humanitarian work.

JK Rowling

Her name may strike controversy at the moment, but the creator of the Harry Potter Universe has several honorary degrees – over two different continents. In the last 15 years, Rowling has amassed seven honorary doctorates from the University of Exeter, University of St. Andrews, Napier University, University of Edinburgh, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and the University of Aberdeen.

Kanye West

The artist who’s rap album titled ‘The College Dropout‘ won the Grammy in 2005 – based on his experience of dropping out of uni when he was 20-years-old – was honoured with a doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015.

Meryl Streep

The Devil Wears Prada actor actually has two hard earned degrees – an undergraduate from Vassar College and an MA from Yale School of Drama. However, these aren’t her only ones the 72-year-old actually has no less than four honorary doctorates – three of them US Ivy League Universities. In 1983, she was made a Doctor of Fine Arts at Yale University; in 2009, Princeton awarded her the same honour, and in 2010, so did Harvard.

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Rachael is the Senior Content Editor at Freshered. She is NCTJ qualified with an MA in journalism. Rachael has almost ten years experience as a journalist in regional, national and international press and is passionate about creating engaging content.