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Finding Inspiration in Every Turn

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What Is an Honorary Degree?

Honorary degrees are academic degrees given by universities to individuals to recognize their exceptional contributions to society or lifetime achievement in their field. Honorary degrees can be conferred on people from all walks of life. For example, Harvard University has awarded over 2,300 honorary degrees since its establishment in 1692. Since 1892, Temple University has awarded over 900 honorary degrees. An early and notable exception is Benjamin Franklin, who received an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in 1759 and the University of Oxford in 1762 for his scientific accomplishments, and thereafter referred to himself as “Doctor Franklin.”

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