Sean “B Diddy” Combs received an honorary doctorate from the college he left nearly 25 years ago.
Sean “B Diddy” Combs became Doctor Combs when he was honored with an honorary doctorate in the humanities during his graduation speech at Howard University in 2014. Diddy enrolled in college in 1990 but dropped out soon after to pursue a career in music. However, he said Howard University changed his life and he was humbled by his college degree.
Meryl Streep has three honorary doctorates from the Ivy League.
Meryl Streep has received four honorary doctorates, three of them from the most prestigious universities in the country: Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.
The Academy Award-winning actress, who earned her own degree from Vassar College, also received a Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University at Bloomington in 2014 for her film talents and advocacy for women.
Oprah Winfrey has four honorary doctorates.
Oprah has been named to more “More Influential People” lists than we can count, so naturally, she’s also earned four honorary doctorates for her work in philanthropy and business. The media mogul holds doctorates from Princeton University, Howard University, Duke University, and Harvard.
In 2010, Alec Baldwin was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from his alma mater.
Baldwin received his bachelor’s degree in 1994 (beginning with studies in 1979 but not finished) from New York University’s Tisch School of Art and returned in 2010 with an honorary doctorate. The actor started a scholarship fund in 2010 called the Alec Baldwin Drama Scholarship Fund that helps students afford NYU Tisch education.
Robert De Niro was honored during his inaugural address at Bates College in Maine, and he also holds an honorary doctorate from New York University.
The legendary movie star was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Bates College during his 2012 graduation speech.
Despite De Niro’s controversial remarks about higher education—he said he made a good decision and saved money by not going to college—he left students with this wisdom: “If you’re an actor, always be true to who you are… You’re not an actor, have personality and be Always honest with yourself.”
He also received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from New York University in 1996.
Orlando Bloom’s hometown college honored him with a Ph.D.
In 2010, Orlando Bloom traveled to his hometown of Canterbury in the UK to receive his Ph.D. from the University of Kent.
“It’s a really big deal,” he told the BBC. “It’s an exciting day for me.” “I’m really honored to be back in my hometown. I have so many amazing memories of Cathedral and Canterbury. I lived near the university so it’s like my own stadium. It’s a very big honor and I feel bad for where is my mum – no one more than my mum.”
Stephen Colbert gave the opening speech and was awarded an honorary doctorate at his alma mater, Northwestern University, in 2011.
Northwestern University honored Colbert with a Doctor of Fine Arts degree.
“After I graduated from here, I moved to Chicago and improvised,” Colbert said in his speech. “Now, there are very few rules for improvisation, but one of the things I learned early on is that you’re not the most important person on the scene. Everyone is. And life is improvisation. You have no idea what happens to happen next, and you mostly do making things up as you go.”
Denzel Washington holds two honorary degrees.
Academy Award and Tony Award winner Denzel Washington gave his graduation speech at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate.
“Do you have the guts to fail?” Washington asked the students. “If you don’t fail, you don’t even try.”
He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Dillard University in New Orleans in 2015.
Kerry Washington gave his graduation speech and received an honorary doctorate from George Washington University in 2013.
Successful actress Kerry Washington returned to her alma mater, George Washington University, in 2013 to receive an honorary doctorate. Washington, who was GW’s Presidential Scholar for Arts, also gave the opening speech.
“You and only you are the only one who can live the life writing the story you were meant to tell,” Washington told the alumni.
Ed Sheeran received an honorary doctorate from the Suffolk University campus in England in 2015.
People magazine reported that the doctorate was awarded in recognition of Sheeran’s “outstanding contribution to music”.
Sheeran, who dropped out of school at the age of 16 to pursue his music career, posted an honorary photo on Instagram wearing his hat and gown.
“I graduated today, I am now officially Dr. Sheeran,” he wrote.
In 2017, Lionel Richie was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music from Berklee College of Music.
Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe winners also joined the students in a performance of “We Are The World” at Berkeley’s annual graduation party.
“You are in the first seat to tell the world what they need to know,” Ritchie said in his acceptance speech for his honorary degree.
Jennifer Garner received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Denison University in Ohio.
Garner, who graduated from Denison in 1994, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the university’s 2019 commencement ceremony. She also gave her 2019 graduation speech, encouraging alumni to stay in touch with one another.
“Business friends, you talk to them about work. Lovers, you talk to them about love and dinner reservations. But friends from college, you can talk to them about everything, you can do nothing with them and you’ll still be happy,” she said.