Kermit the Frog, Ph.D? A Look at Honorary Degree Recipients

Kermit the Frog, Ph.D? A Look at Honorary Degree Recipients

Melissa W.

We recently talked about the history of honorary degrees and the criticism that originally came with them. While they’re not always the most widely accepted by students, many colleges have had fun with them through the years. Here’s a look at some honorary degree recipients:


American talk show host and media mogul has received 4 honorary doctorate degrees from Princeton, Howard University, Duke University, and Harvard.

oprah winfrey honorary degree

Justin Timberlake

Pop star and solo artist received an honorary doctorate from esteemed Berklee College of Music in 2019 for his contributions to the music industry.

justin timberlake honorary degree recipient

Elie Wiesel

Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner has received more than 100 honorary degrees -- his first from Jewish Theological Seminary in New York in 1967.

elie wiesel honorary degree recipient

Maya Angelou

The first African American female poet laureate in U.S. history and household name activist received over 30 honorary degrees.

maya angelou honorary degree recipient

Kermit the Frog

America’s favorite puppet received an honorary Doctorate of Amphibious Letters in 1996 from Southampton College in New York before delivering the commencement speech.

kermit the frog honorary degree recipient

Honorary degrees are now known as a celebratory gesture and hold no weight in society, though some recipients use the Ph.D title, despite being urged not to do so. Either way, they add a bit of fun and distinction to a commencement ceremony!

Did you attend a graduation ceremony where someone was awarded an honorary degree? Let us know in the comments!

As a reminder, our team continues to operate with a modified business solution, complete with remote and isolated order processing locations. Our goal is to safely deliver honor and recognition gear to schools and institutions to have ready for their students once graduation dates have been reworked. We understand the importance of graduation regalia and what it means to students and faculty and want graduates to mark their accomplishments in a way in which they deserve. No matter what your commencement ceremony looks like this year, our honor and recognition gear means the same and looks just as great!

We love seeing all of the commencement photos rolling in from around the country! If you’d like to share any images with our team for a chance to be featured, email us at

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