Taylor Swift To Receive Honorary Doctorate And Speak At NYU Graduation

By Erika Hanson | Published

taylor swift

Taylor Swift has a lot to be proud of. The renowned singer-songwriter has plenty of awards, but now, the 11-time Grammy-winning pop/country artist can add a new type of “award” to her long list of accolades. Swift will now officially join the ranks of millions that have earned college degrees, as she is set to receive an honorary doctorate degree from New York University

The Shake It Off artist was announced by Variety last week to be one of the recipients set to receive an honorary degree on May 18th, alongside the university 2022 graduation class at the school’s commencement. Held this year inside Yankee Stadium, Swift will also appear as a guest speaker alongside Disability rights activist Judith Heumann. Other honorary degree recipients include  Lonnie Bunch III, Susan Hockfield, Jill Lepore, and Félix Matos Rodríguez.

Taylor Swift has been previously associated with the University, even though she has never attended college. In February, NYU announced that they began offering a music course studying Taylor Swift at the beginning of this year. Taught at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, the class is taught by Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos. It covers the musician’s evolution as a music entrepreneur, and the legacy of pop and country songwriters, among other related matters. 

taylor swift

According to Distractify, the honorary degree being awarded to Taylor Swift will be a Doctorate of Fine Arts, honoris causa. And although this technically means you can start calling the 32-year-old Doc, these types of degrees don’t mean the same thing as regular ones. This type of honorary degree is usually handed out each year to individuals that university committees deem to be worth honoring. Instead of being given to students, they are meant to go to public figures. In retrospect, this award is meant to be listed on resumes as an accomplishment, not an education.

As Taylor Swift and New York University graduating students prepare for the big commencement night, school leaders are just as excited. The University canceled two years’ worth of commencement festivities following the onset of the COVID pandemic. Furthermore, it won’t only be the graduating class of 2022 that gets to attend the ceremony at Yankee Stadium. NYU is also inviting back graduates from 2020 and 2021 to attend the distinguished ceremony. “We reconvene at Yankee Stadium with a renewed sense of appreciation for the act of celebrating together in person, a recognition of our graduates’ enormous achievements, and a respect for their character and perseverance,” said NYU President Andrew Hamilton in a statement.

taylor swift

Taylor Swift isn’t the only famous person making headlines for receiving honorary degrees this year. According to a recent report from Inside Higher Ed, more than 15 colleges across the nation have already promised to recognize Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The honor is in recognition of his perseverance through the war that has ravaged the Eastern European country. 

As Taylor Swift prepares to attend the NYU commencement to receive her degree and speak in front of a packed stadium, the musician joins a long list of celebrities recognized with the award. Meryl Streep has multiple honorary degrees, and the 72-year-old herself graduated from college in 1983. In 2014, musical legend Aretha Franklin was awarded an honorary degree from Harvard. At the school’s commencement, Franklin delighted graduates with a rendition of the national anthem. While there is no word yet if Swift herself will shower NYY with her vocal powers, it would surely make for a memorable commencement.