Call her Dr. Kwan? - No, But she did receive an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Visaliakid, May 9, 2010.

  1. Visaliakid

    Visaliakid Well-Known Member

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    Michelle Kwan was honored Friday, by Southern Vermont College (SVC) with an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters during commencement exercises in Bennington, VT.

    AP Pictoral from SVC

    Additional news/photo/video links welcomed in this thread. Southern Vermont College expects to upload video of her commencement address to their website or YouTube soon.
  2. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    Good for her! I hope that the graduates enjoyed her address.
  3. Visaliakid

    Visaliakid Well-Known Member

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  4. kathy sullivan

    kathy sullivan Member

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    She really is inspiring. Have a strong in feeling in a few years we'll see her earn her doctorate in International Studies.
  5. JamieSix

    JamieSix New Member

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    Man, those lucky people.
  6. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    Good for her! You really can call someone with an honorary doctorate "doctor," though, can't you? "Dr. Michelle Kwan" sounds pretty cool. :)
  7. kathy sullivan

    kathy sullivan Member

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    Yeah, you can - and many do. Benjamin Franklin got an honorary degree and thereafter called himself Dr. And I think Billy Graham also has an honorary doctorate and is called Dr. Graham all the time. As I understand it you can use the title - some do some don't.
  8. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    It's appropriate to use the title in some situations, but it's not appropriate to call yourself Dr. all the time if you have a honourary degree unless you also have exceptional and publicly recognized accomplishments in your field, like Billy Graham. Which is why you see a lot of university professor job ads now that specify "earned" doctorate as a qualificaton.
  9. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 New Member

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    It seems like it would be similar to Michelle also calling herself an Olympic champion because many fans think she is an honorary O champ. As huge of an MK fan as I have been for over half my life, I would not want her (or anyone who has been given an honorary doctorate) to call themselves "Dr.," as she (they) did not earn that title. I have been working my butt off towards my PhD for the past few years, and trust me, getting my bachelor and master degrees was NOTHING compared to the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to get a doctorate. Having been familiar with the work ethic of Michelle Kwan over the decades, I would bet she wouldn't want to be called Dr., either, until she EARNS the title, as opposed to having it handed to her for giving a speech at a graduation ceremony. I never understood the purpose of handing those honorary degrees out, but to people who get them and then actually call themselves doctor- I hope they know they are misrepresenting themselves.
  10. kathy sullivan

    kathy sullivan Member

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    Trust me - I know first hand how hard it is to get a doctorate. And while honorary doctorates reflect something quite different than those attained academically, they don't hand them out for nothing. Those who are so awarded are seen by the awarding institution as having contributed quite significantly. I don't believe that MK will use the title. She is incredibly modest and humble - in fact, someone who attended the event said that when the President of the University introduced her, Michelle said something to the effect that when she first heard she would be honored with an honorary doctorate she said she thought she had not done enough yet to earn such an honor. I do suspect that one day we will be celebrating her earning an academic Ph.D., she seems very motivated and this girl reaches for the top. To those interested here are a few more articles:

    This one has a funny quote:
    http://www.benningtonbanner.com/ci_15051817

    And this - it gives more of a sense of her humility.
    http://figureskating.teamusa.org/ne...-kwan-receives-honorary-degree/35905?ngb_id=3
  11. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    I somehow missed this thread and first posted in the original one from way back in March. Anyway, let me second kathy sullivan's comments about Michelle's modest and humble attitude. That last article linked (which I had in my post below) really does highlight that.

    Cut and pasted from my earlier post:

    A nice article from the USOC site about Michelle receiving her honorary doctoral degree and giving the commencement address at Southern Vermont College's graduation ceremony May 8. Getting "hooded" is a just a bit different from having a medal hung around your neck, but gold still looks good on her. ;)

    ETA: Also nice to see her sense of humor on display -- "Dr." Kwan -- Olympic medalist, graduate student, U.S. Public Diplomacy Envoy -- mistaken for someone's manicurist. :lol:
  12. IceJunkie

    IceJunkie Well-Known Member

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    :rofl:
  13. IceKween

    IceKween New Member

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    We have a socialite in town that got some honorary doctorate from some no-name uni and everytime she is photogged in the society page she makes sure her publicist has her named "Dr." Pretentia Disgusta. I think it is a slap in the face to those who have actually earned their doctorates. I hope Kwan does not go down that route. I suspect until she's earned a real doctorate, she will not want to be called Dr. Who knows. But no, if you have a husband who will donate $10M to an obscure uni, you can 'earn' an honorary doctorate and use it in public. Disgusting.
  14. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    There are an awful lot of people who refer to themselves as Doctors and they have no degree, honorary or otherwise. So I say, sure, let's call her Dr. Kween!!!
  15. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    Phil Hersh has posted the text of Michelle's commencement speech in its entirety, so I'll have to say "Thanks, Phil!" (despite my grousing at many of his columns). ;)

    Now I just hope that there won't be the usual suspects claiming that she must have had a ghost-writer for it. :rolleyes: Anyway, good job, Michelle! :respec:
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  16. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    I think Dr. Kween has a very nice ring. :cheer2:

    Seriously, she is a marval. Her family, friends and fans who've followed her since she was 13 should all be proud of the amazing young woman she's grown to be.
  17. JamieSix

    JamieSix New Member

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  18. Visaliakid

    Visaliakid Well-Known Member

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    The Video of Southern Vermont College President Karen Gross great introduction of Michelle & Michelle receiving her degree has been posted. The video of Dr. Kwan's commencement address should be posted soon.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9pbIpyFjk8
  19. kathy sullivan

    kathy sullivan Member

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    That introduction is an amazing tribute to her, and I am really impressed with her speech. Have to say how proud I am to be - and have been for all these years - her fan.
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  20. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Michelle is an amazing young woman.
    I'm sure that this is only the beginning of a lifetime of significant accomplishment.
  21. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    Ditto about Michelle's speech being quite impressive and indisputably "eloquent."

    Congratulations, Michelle W. Kwan (Dr. Kween!). :cool: :respec:
  22. Visaliakid

    Visaliakid Well-Known Member

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    Email that I received tonight -
    From: Karen Gross, J.D.
    President, Southern Vermont College

    Michelle's commencement address should be up tomorrow -- in two parts: Part I and Part II. Watch for it! And, she was wonderful -- wait til you listen.
    Simone411 and (deleted member) like this.
  23. freezin'rinkmom

    freezin'rinkmom New Member

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    Have there been other skaters to receive honorary degrees like Kwan?
  24. DanRad

    DanRad New Member

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    It'll be Michelle W. Kwan, Hon. D. (or D.).
  25. Visaliakid

    Visaliakid Well-Known Member

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    cynthiabc and (deleted member) like this.
  26. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Just being asked to deliver the speech and being awarded an Hon D for someone under the age of 30 is a huge honor.
  27. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

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    What an inspiring speech! Congrats to Kwan on an incredible honor and a job very well done.

    O-
  28. kathy sullivan

    kathy sullivan Member

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    She has come a long way in her public speaking ability. He speech was really well delivered.
  29. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Well done to her. I am very impressed the way she has moved on from skating and forging new directions for herself.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  30. key65man

    key65man New Member

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    Michelle is a type of person who would strive and succeed in anything she puts her mind to. The honorary degree is just a small taste of what is to come in terms of achievement and contribution she will make. A great role model.
  31. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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  32. JTS

    JTS New Member

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    :):):)Thanks you so much Visaliakid for posting Michelle. It was a wonderful speech and I just love watching her (skating and otherwise) I miss her skating terribly. Even now no one compares.