The actor is ebullient as he receives a doctor of fine arts from Brown University

By Tim Nudd
May 28, 2013 09:45 AM

Making his mom proud while making Matt Damon jealous? Sounds like a win-win for Ben Affleck!

The Oscar-winning Argo actor-director joyfully received an honorary doctor of fine arts degree from Brown University on Sunday, and remarked – comically and sincerely – on why it was so special to him.

“This is a spectacular honor for me. Among other things today, in terms of higher education, I passed Matt Damon,” he said to rapturous applause in Providence, R.I.

As undergraduates, Damon, 42, attended Harvard University but did not graduate, while Affleck, 40, lasted just one semester at the University of Vermont. Affleck is technically correct that he has now surpassed his Good Will Hunting co-writer in terms of degrees, although Damon did receive the Harvard Arts Medal this year.

Affleck went on to dedicate his Brown degree to his mother Christine, who was in the crowd on Sunday. “This means a lot to her,” he said. “She never got to see me graduate from any higher education at all. So, Mom, this is for you. I love you.”

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Along with a proud mom and a possibly envious friend, Affleck said the honorary degree also left behind one confused daughter.

“My daughter’s 7,” he said of Violet. “She said, ‘Why are you doing that, Dad? You went to no classes and did no homework.’ ”