I'm just sayin'...and feel free to go the other way with this if you like...but here's what I think:
Every honorary degree that has ever been granted has devalued that degree for all of its past and future recipients.
Last week, or maybe the week before...who can tell anymore...there was a big kafuffle about Don Cherry being granted, and subsequently declining, an honorary degree from RMC for his support of the Canadian Armed Forces over the years. I can just imagine my dad's reaction to the whole business. My dad hates Don Cherry. My dad also served in the armed forces for 27 years. Poor dad, who is on a crash diet, might have been forced to relieve himself of the few calories he is still allowed to consume.
Honorary degrees. Why? Why give someone a degree that they have neither expressed any interest in earning nor made any effort to obtain as a means to show gratitude or recognize excellence? Awards, people. Awards were created for that exact purpose. To AWARD someone for their achievements. You think this fella has done a great service to the community? Why not give him an AWARD? This lady is a literary genius and you would like to acknowledge her in some formal capacity? How about an AWARD?
I happen to like Don Cherry. One day, perhaps my dad will come to appreciate what he and the other gruff, opinionated yet charming s.o.b. have in common. Or maybe not. And I think that it's great that Don has supported Canadian troops and even more great that RMC wants to celebrate that. So I say, let's give him an Award of Excellence or a Lifetime Achievement Award. I don't really think it's necessary, or even right on any level, to make him a Doctor of Liking Soldiers. In fact, I think it's stupid.
While I'm on the topic of people I like that the men in my life hate, how about Bill Cosby? Love him. Loved him as Fat Albert, loved him as Cliff Huxtable, love him on stage in any capacity and heck, even love him selling Jell-O pops. But when I discover that he has THIRTEEN honorary degrees (7 of which are doctorates and one is a Doctor of Law), none of which he has earned, I am annoyed. That's one for every Grammy and Emmy award he's actually earned. I mean, come on. At some point everyone involved must start to feel a little silly.
Okay one more, just to piss off my husband. You know, the guy who spent 15 consecutive years working his tail off to earn a measly 3 degrees, only two of which are doctorates. Woody Allen. College dropout. Until, that is, a University in Barcelona awarded him an honorary doctorate.