17 Celebrities with Honorary Degrees
Ben Affleck, who spent time at multiple universities but never completed his bachelor's degree, was presented with an honorary doctorate degree from Brown University in 2013.
Kanye West, who famously dropped out of college while attending Chicago State University, was awarded an honorary doctorate degree in 2015, picking up the honor from the Art Institute of Chicago.
Meryl Streep picked up an honorary doctoral degree in 2014, landing the honor during a visit to Indiana University. The famed actress previously graduated cum laude from Vassar College.
John Legend returned to his alma mater in 2014 and picked up an honorary doctorate of music. The Grammy winner, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999, gave the commencement address in 2014.
University of Exeter alum J.K. Rowling earned an honorary degree after the publication of five Harry Potter books. The author was awarded her doctor honoris causa by the University of Edinburgh.
Denzel Washington, who graduated from Fordham University in 1977, earned an honorary doctor of arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he gave the commencement address in 2011.
William Shatner graduated from McGill University in 1952 and returned nearly 60 years later to deliver the commencement address and pick up an honorary doctorate of letters.
Bono stopped by the University of Pennsylvania in 2004, giving the school's commencement address and landing an honorary doctor of laws degree.
Aretha Franklin went Ivy in 2014, landing an honorary doctor of arts degree from Harvard University.
Ed O'Neill returned to his native Youngstown, Ohio in 2013. The actor, who attended Youngstown State University in the '60s, was awarded an honorary doctor of arts degree by the university.
Kerry Washington graduated Phi Beta Kappa from George Washington University in 1998 and picked up additional honors from the university 15 years later. The Scandal actress served as the 2013 commencement speaker and was awarded an honorary doctor of fine arts degree.
Alec Baldwin, who attended George Washington University before transferring to New York University, returned to NYU in 2010 and picked up an honorary doctor of fine arts degree.
Sean "Diddy" Combs
Sean Combs, aka Puff Daddy, dropped out of Howard University in the '90s, but returned nearly 25 years later. The music legend earned an honorary doctorate degree in humanities from Howard in 2014.
Jon Bon Jovi
While Jon Bon Jovi didn't go to college, the musician did land a certificate from Rutgers University–Camden. Bon Jovi was given an honorary doctor of letters degree by the university in 2015.
Jack Nicholson earned his degree in 2011, picking up an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Brown University.
Yoko Ono, who attended Tokyo's Gakushuin University and New York's Sarah Lawrence College, was awarded an honorary degree from the Pratt Institute.
Tennessee State University alumni Oprah Winfrey added another line to her esteemed résumé in 2009, picking up an honorary doctor of humane letters from Duke University.