What is an honorary doctorate? Taylor Swift set to receive NYU degree and give Commencement ceremony speech 

Taylor Swift was already affiliated with NYU since the school taught a class about her work (Image via Getty Images/ Dimitrios Kambouris)
Taylor Swift was already affiliated with NYU since the school taught a class about her work (Image via Getty Images/ Dimitrios Kambouris)

American songstress Taylor Swift will receive an honorary doctorate of fine arts from New York University on May 18. She will also speak at the commencement event at Yankee Stadium, according to the school's statement on March 28.

On the morning of May 18, Swift will deliver her address and receive her honors from NYU alongside the class of 2022.

On that day, three graduating classes will be celebrated. On the morning of May 18, Swift will take part in a "traditional" graduation ceremony for the current graduating class.

Separately, the institution will perform a "double-header" commencement in the evening for the classes of 2020 and 2021, which were unable to have a typical ceremony owing to the pandemic.

Taylor Swift will receive the honorary title of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa.


What is an honorary doctorate, which Taylor Swift will be bestowed with?

As per definitions.net, an honorary degree, also known as a degree honoris causa, is an academic degree for which a university waives the standard conditions such as enrollment, residency, study, and examination passing.

The degree is often a doctorate or, less commonly, a master's degree, and it may be conferred on someone who has no prior connection to the academic institution.

The degree is frequently given to recognize a renowned visitor's achievements in a specific subject or towards society as a whole. It is frequently awarded to university or college commencement speakers.

The university frequently benefits from its relationship with the individual in question. Employers do not regard the degree as having the same standing as a similar 'earned' doctorate, and it should not be advertised as such.


Taylor Swift has had a connection with the New York University

Swift was already affiliated with NYU, since the school taught a class about her work, albeit she had no direct involvement in the curriculum.

The course was launched on January 26 and continued through March 9 inNew York University’s Clive Davis Institute. The class taught Swift's development as a creative music entrepreneur was discussed, as well as the legacy of pop and country songwriters, youth and girlhood discourses, and racial politics in modern popular music.

Judith Heumann, a disability rights activist, will speak to the graduates at Yankee Stadium during the evening ceremony. Heumann appeared in the documentary "Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution," which was nominated for best documentary at the Oscars last year.

She is the author of "Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist," which will be published in 2020, and she hosts the podcast "The Heumann Perspective," which includes individuals from the disability community.

Lonnie Bunch III, Susan Hockfield, Jill Lepore, and Félix Matos Rodrguez are among the other honorary degree holders. In an official statement, NYU President Andrew Hamilton said:

“I cannot overstate how thrilled I am to be coming together in person with graduates, parents, faculty and honorees for NYU’s commencement."

He said that the students of classes 2022, 2021, and 2020, have been deprived of commencement's festive and communal joy since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We reconvene at Yankee Stadium with a renewed sense of appreciation for the act of celebrating together in person, a recognition of our graduates’ enormous achievements, and a respect for their character and perseverance.”

Taylor Swift will compete for album of the year at the GRAMMY Awards, scheduled for April 3, before earning the honorary degree in May. Swift's Folklore was her third career album of the year winner in 2021, thus Evermore is nominated for the top accolade.

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