Celebrity Céline Dion, Ben Affleck, and More Celebrities Who Have Received Honorary Doctorate Degrees While many stars have been given Oscars, Grammys, Emmys, and more prestigious awards over the years, these celebrities have been given honorary doctorate degrees. By Skyler Caruso Skyler Caruso Instagram Skyler Caruso is the Editorial Assistant of PEOPLE Digital. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 30, 2022 11:55 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos Photo: Getty (3) 01 of 15 Meryl Streep Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images Meryl Streep is a recipient of several honorary doctorate degrees, some of which come from various Ivy League schools. She graduated from Yale University in 1975, and was later awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the institution in 1983. The actress also received honorary doctorate degrees from Dartmouth University, Princeton University in 2009, Harvard University in 2010, and Indiana University in 2014. 02 of 15 Muhammad Ali Kathy Willens/AP/Shutterstock Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from Mount Ida College in 1994, Columbia University in 1999, and Muhlenberg College in 2009. He also received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Princeton University in 2007. 03 of 15 Aretha Franklin Paul Marotta/Getty Aretha Franklin has received numerous honorary doctorate degrees from prestigious schools including Princeton University, Yale University, and the Berklee College of Music. In 2014, Franklin was one of eight honorees at Harvard University's commencement ceremony where she received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree. She showed off her vocal chops and her piano skills, performing a rousing rendition of the national anthem. 04 of 15 Denzel Washington Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images Denzel Washington was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011, in addition to delivering the institutions's commencement speech. 05 of 15 Oprah Winfrey Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images Oprah Winfrey is a recipient of multiple honorary doctorate degrees from numerous institutions, including Ivy Leagues and international universities. She was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Princeton University in 2002, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Duke University in 2009, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard University in 2013. The talk show star also received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of the Free State in South Africa in 2011 for her services to education in the country. 06 of 15 Ben Affleck Mike Cohea/Brown University via Getty Images Ben Affleck was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Brown University in 2013. 07 of 15 Kerry Washington Kris Connor/Getty Images Long before starring on ABC's political drama Scandal, Kerry Washington was in Washington, D.C. for school. She is a 1998 graduate of George Washington University, and was later awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the school in 2013. 08 of 15 Sean "Diddy" Combs Allison Shelley/Getty Images Sean "Diddy" Combs was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Howard University in 2014, in addition to delivering the school's commencement speech. The musician and entrepreneur attended Howard as a business major for two years before dropping out in 1990, but Diddy's brief time there had a long-lasting impact on his life. "Howard University didn't just change my life – it entered my soul, my heart, my being and my spirit," Diddy said upon receiving his honorary degree. 09 of 15 Kanye West Daniel Boczarski/WireImage After dropping out of college at age 20 to pursue a music career (which he later referenced in his debut album titled The College Dropout), Kanye West was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015. 10 of 15 Ed Sheeran PA Images/Sipa Ed Sheeran received an honorary doctorate degree for his "outstanding contribution to music" from the University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich, England, in 2015. He accepted the degree in person, where he sported a colorful gown and traditional cap — paired with Converse shoes and a flash of his tattoos. The singer, who left school at 16 to pursue his music career, shared his excitement on Instagram, writing, "I graduated today, I am now officially Dr. Sheeran." 11 of 15 Hillary Clinton Secretary Hillary Clinton. TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images Hillary Clinton received her honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree from the University of Oxford in 2021, where her husband, former president Bill Clinton, previously attended as a Rhodes Scholar in the late '60s. 12 of 15 Jennifer Garner Jennifer Garner/Instagram Jennifer Garner was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by her alma mater, Denison University, in 2019. The actress, who was a graduate of Denison's class of 1994, also delivered the school's commencement speech. 13 of 15 Lionel Richie Paul Marotta/Getty Lionel Richie received an honorary Doctor of Music Degree from Berklee College of Music in 2017, in addition to jamming with the students on stage during the institution's annual commencement concert. "For his contributions to contemporary culture, his humanitarian efforts, and the joy his music brings to so many, it is my pleasure to present Berklee's honorary doctorate of music to Lionel Richie," Berklee President Roger H. Brown said in his introduction for the singer/songwriter. 14 of 15 Justin Timberlake Paul Marotta/Getty Justin Timberlake received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in 2019. In addition to thanking his wife Jessica Biel in his speech, he shared his appreciation of the honor on Instagram as well. "No Dream is too big!!! Keep chasing!!! Trust me… I'm a DOCTOR!! 🤣👨🎓 But, for real… THANK YOU to @berkleecollege for this incredible honor—I'm very humbled and grateful," he captioned the post. 15 of 15 Céline Dion Jean-Philippe DUMAS/PONOPRESSE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images Céline Dion received her first honorary Doctor in Music degree from Laval University in Quebec, Canada in 2008. The singer was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in May 2021, alongside Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes.