Honorary Degrees

One of my friends started a conversation online about honorary degrees. Both of us are college graduates. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree while she has a Bachelor’s degree as well as a Master’s. I couldn’t be more proud of her. She worked for it, as did I. I spent over a decade studying for exams, dealing with nervous breakdowns in the library, and hours upon hours of typing and composing paper after paper. Whereas my friend and I worked our proverbial asses off to get our degrees, people are awarded honorary Doctorates without doing the coursework.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the people who were awarded the degrees. The colleges and universities in question made the choice to bestow these degrees upon the recipients. However, as a college graduate, I find it insulting to those of us who spent most of our free time in the library or the computer lab doing research for our papers or preparing a ten page paper for Senior Seminar.

I’m sure the people who were awarded honorary degrees are proud of their accomplishments and I understand these recipients were awarded this degree because of their contributions to their fields, but couldn’t they be acknowledged for their contributions in another way?

To practically hand over a degree to someone who did not do the required coursework is a slap in the face to those of us who have studied and lost sleep just to proofread an assignment. If I had to spend all those years in the classroom just to get my degree, why can’t these recipients do the same?