Virtue & Moir to receive honourary doctorates

Japanfan

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TBH I'm a bit bothered by honorary degrees. Even if an athlete or artist or scientifically-oriented individual is distinguished by many accomplishments, it doesn't mean they have the capacity to earn an honorary degree or have put in the work to earn one. :scream::scream::scream:

I'm certainly okay with Carl Jung getting one, but he did put in the work and made a primary contribution to psychology, academia, and society at large (giving a new context for understanding it).
 
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hanca

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TBH I'm a bit bothered by honorary degrees. Even if an athlete or artist or scientifically-oriented individual is distinguished by many accomplishments, it doesn't mean they have the capacity to earn an honorary degree or have put in the work to earn one. :scream::scream::scream:

I'm certainly okay when Carl Jung getting one, but he did put in the work and made a primary contribution to psychology, academia, and society at large (giving a new context for understanding it).
I also feel uneasy about handing out academic degrees. It devalues it for those who actually earned them through academic work. The fact that someone is super talented sportsman/sportswoman does not mean that they have the brains to earn the academic degree.
 

Japanfan

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Um.. it says they receive a HONORARY degree, it does not say they receive an ACADEMIC degree. So what's wrong with that?

Honorary means 'given only on the basis of honor'. For most people getting a degree requires a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and often life sacrifices. IMO being deemed an 'honorary individual' should not be deemed a sufficient condition for receiving a degree. Unless the individual has done the same work and research as an academic (as in the case of Joseph Campbell).

Individuals who get an honorary degree may benefit from it, and probably drop the 'honorary' when they talk about it and just say 'degree'.
 

alilou

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Honorary means 'given only on the basis of honor'. For most people getting a degree requires a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and often life sacrifices. IMO being deemed an 'honorary individual' should not be deemed a sufficient condition for receiving a degree. Unless the individual has done the same work and research as an academic (as in the case of Joseph Campbell).

Individuals who get an honorary degree may benefit from it, and probably drop the 'honorary' when they talk about it and just say 'degree'.

So you think V&M didn't put in the blood sweat and tears or make any life sacrifices? You think what they achieved didn't require intelligence, focus, commitment, use of their brains as well as their bodies?

This is so mean spirited to me. What about Jim Carrey's honorary degree? Is he not worthy of that also? Oh and a heap of other people (Meryl Streep for instance who has three! Harvard, Yale, and Princeton) who've really worked at their chosen passion and achieved great results - through blood sweat and tears and life sacrifices - are they all not worthy just because they didn't follow the cloistered and narrow academic path to achieve greatness?

Honorary degrees are given for the sake of honour. Do you think these people do not deserve to be honoured?

Jeez!
 
D

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So you think V&M didn't put in the blood sweat and tears or make any life sacrifices? You think what they achieved didn't require intelligence, focus, commitment, use of their brains as well as their bodies?

This is so mean spirited to me. What about Jim Carrey's honorary degree? Is he not worthy of that also? Oh and a heap of other people (Meryl Streep for instance who has three! Harvard, Yale, and Princeton) who've really worked at their chosen passion and achieved great results - through blood sweat and tears and life sacrifices - are they all not worthy just because they didn't follow the cloistered and narrow academic path to achieve greatness?

Honorary degrees are given for the sake of honour. Do you think these people do not deserve to be honoured?

Jeez!
I think your comment is so mean spirited and refuses to focus on the valid point being made here. For V and M’s hard work they got Olympic gold medals, I don’t see the need for honorary doctorates. If an award like this is given to someone in FS for making valid changes to jumping technique that reduces injury, etc. Then I think they have made a very valid case for a honorary doctorate, otherwise anyone who succeeded and made it to front of the newspaper requires a doctorate, oh wait, that is what has been happening.
 

MsZem

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I don't mind people getting honorary doctorates so long as they don't go around calling themselves PhDs or MDs or whatnot.

As for V/M, they were not my cup of tea by the end of their career, but there's no denying that they are two extremely accomplished individuals who represented Canada well. I see no reason not to recognize them - the whole point of an honorary doctorate is that it doesn't have to reflect academic achievement.
 

victorskid

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As the daughter of a man who received not one but two honourary doctoral degrees, I take exception to all of the negative commentary about anyone receiving such an acknowledgement of achievement from an institution of higher learning for what they have done outside academia. Surely the individual institutions have the right to make choices that they feel appropriate?!?!?
 

MacMadame

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I don't mind people getting honorary doctorates so long as they don't go around calling themselves PhDs or MDs or whatnot.
I find them mostly to be eye-roll worthy as long as we're talking about it. But I also don't care that much because in general, I find honors and awards to be somewhat arbitrary so I don't take them all that seriously. They are fun to get though!

Surely the individual institutions have the right to make choices that they feel appropriate?!?!?
Sure. And we have a right to snark about it. :D
 

karmena

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I also feel uneasy about handing out academic degrees. It devalues it for those who actually earned them through academic work. The fact that someone is super talented sportsman/sportswoman does not mean that they have the brains to earn the academic degree.

Do not worry:), no one is asking you to 'hand them out', and no one is going to award you; no reason to 'to feel not easy'! And honorary degree is an honorary degree. It is not meant to devalue- and it does not devalue!- anyone.

I am from those who never has considered ice dance a sport (sorry), and it was Tessa and Scout who in 2010 glued my heart and eyes to the TV screen with their performance. Anyway...it was about honorary degrees....

And, Hanca, please, do not take me post personally. Most of the time I agree with your posts.
 

MsZem

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I also feel uneasy about handing out academic degrees. It devalues it for those who actually earned them through academic work. The fact that someone is super talented sportsman/sportswoman does not mean that they have the brains to earn the academic degree.
My PhD is not devalued by V/M getting honorary doctorates, just as it is not devalued by my alma mater or current employer awarding such degrees. They're not the same thing.
 

victorskid

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I thought they have had enough recognition by being olympic champions.
I suspect a thorough search would find other Olympic champions, in a variety of sports and from various countries, who might have received such honourary degrees from institutions of higher learning around the world. Would you object to all of those? Or are you just objecting to those for these particular champions?
 

hanca

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I suspect a thorough search would find other Olympic champions, in a variety of sports and from various countries, who might have received such honourary degrees from institutions of higher learning around the world. Would you object to all of those? Or are you just objecting to those for these particular champions?
Yes, of course, I would object to all sportsmen who are receiving honorary degrees. Not only V/M. (And not only sportsmen, I would also object politicians and generally everyone who hasn’t earned the degrees through their academic work). As far as I am concerned, sports achievements have nothing to do with honours awarded by academic institutions. Unless the sportsmen made some scientific discoveries within their sport discipline.
 

skatfan

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Unfortunately, these days honorary degrees are bestowed on many celebrities whether or not they have any accomplishments related to the educational institution. I won't bash these two because it's the way the system is played now.
 

kittysk8ts

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I found the commentary here interesting. I'm not offended by honourary degrees/doctorates but I guess I can understand why some think it unearned. But I thought I would see what the internets has to say and I found this and now I can't stop LMAO.


Perhaps one of the strangest but most humorous controversies involved Long Island University's Southampton College. In 1996, the school awarded an honorary Doctor of Amphibious Letters to Kermit the Frog for his work in education and in raising environmental awareness. Even though there were those who did not agree with the idea of bestowing the honor on a puppet, Kermit accepted the award and did indeed give an acceptance speech.
 

MsZem

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I just realized that a friend of mine got his PhD at Western. I don't think he feels like his degree is worth less because people are getting honorary doctorates, either.

He has published in better journals than V/M, too ;)
 

kalamalka

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The awarding of honorary degrees is a longstanding tradition at universities. In general, honorary degrees are designated in such a way as to make it clear that they are honorary, and not based on academic requirements. I served on a university senate for many years which approved such degrees as well as the criteria for granting them, and briefly on the specific committee (not my favourite committee work). At that university, all academic doctorates are PhDs, and all honorary degrees have other designations (most often LLD, honoris causa, which is what Virtue and Moir are getting from Western). While V&M don't have a particular connection with the university that I know of, they are locals who have had major national and international achievements, which are usually strong considerations in awarding honorary degrees.

(BTW, I do support the idea of honorary degrees in principle, and see nothing wrong with this case - but it does bother me that universities seem to be awarding a lot more of them these days. Possibly because there a lot more separate convocation ceremonies, and they seem to want to have at least one recipient per ceremony, but I think it devalues the honour somewhat)
 

marbri

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The awarding of honorary degrees is a longstanding tradition at universities. In general, honorary degrees are designated in such a way as to make it clear that they are honorary, and not based on academic requirements. I served on a university senate for many years which approved such degrees as well as the criteria for granting them, and briefly on the specific committee (not my favourite committee work). At that university, all academic doctorates are PhDs, and all honorary degrees have other designations (most often LLD, honoris causa, which is what Virtue and Moir are getting from Western). While V&M don't have a particular connection with the university that I know of, they are locals who have had major national and international achievements, which are usually strong considerations in awarding honorary degrees.

(BTW, I do support the idea of honorary degrees in principle, and see nothing wrong with this case - but it does bother me that universities seem to be awarding a lot more of them these days. Possibly because there a lot more separate convocation ceremonies, and they seem to want to have at least one recipient per ceremony, but I think it devalues the honour somewhat)

IIRC Tessa was doing a psychology degree at University of Windsor and after 2014 Olympics moved back to London to complete it at Western University. I assume she completed it because she is now talking about doing a MBA. Tessa and Scott were also speakers at IVEY Business School (Western U) in 2014 and 2018. So there is some connection with the place aside, of course, from it being in their hometown.
 

tylersf

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Japanfan

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Maybe they teach college now too!

Getting an honorary doctorate doesn't mean an individual is qualified to teach college, as the doctorate isn't always based on actual academic work. Tessa and Scott are currently not qualified to teach, although Tessa may become qualified given that she's said she is interested in pursuing an MBA.
 

tylersf

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Good point - although there are some colleges where the degree isn't always based on actual academic work.
Getting an honorary doctorate doesn't mean an individual is qualified to teach college, as the doctorate isn't always based on actual academic work. Tessa and Scott are currently not qualified to teach, although Tessa may become qualified given that she's said she is interested in pursuing an MBA.
 

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