Joseph Epstein finds the prestige of honorary degrees has fallen to new lows. An excerpt:
Northwestern, I know, has given honorary doctorates to Robert Redford and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Yale gave one some years back to Meryl Streep. The motive here, at least in part, is to get a commencement address on the cheap, and to give the graduating students the right to say that at their commencement someone wildly famous spoke. Yet one wonders if the graduates of Long Island's Southampton College, allowed to reflect upon the matter in tranquility, were entirely pleased when their school gave an honorary degree to Kermit the Frog.