honorary doctor

#BlackHistoryMonth #tbt: Being the first African American woman to travel to space is one of Mae Jemison’s many accomplishments. A dancer, Peace Corps doctor, public speaker and astronaut, Mae went to college at age 16, holds 9 honorary doctorates and has founded many STEM-related programs for students. 

In 1981, Alexa Canady became the first female African-American neurosurgeon in the US.

Dr. Canady holds two honorary degrees: a doctorate of humane letters from the University of Detroit-Mercy, awarded in 1997, and a doctor of science degree from the University of Southern Connecticut, awarded in 1999.

She received the Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s Teacher of the Year award in 1984, and was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Frame in 1989. In 1993, she received the American Medical Women’s Association President’s Award and in 1994 the Distinguished Service Award from Wayne State University Medical School.

In 2002, the Detroit News named her Michiganer of the Year.

Now, don’t ever say, you can’t do something because this woman literally has done the impossible!


i dont think ill have the spoons this month to make a post for him, but for black history month: 

andrew foster was the first black person to graduate from gallaudet college (now university) and he was accepted with a full scholarship, and graduated with a bachelors in arts, then later earned 2 masters at 2 different colleges. 

he founded the christian mission for the deaf and went on to create over 40 deaf schools in africa, where when he first arrived to do so in 1957 there were only 12, spread throughout the entire continent. 

he has received many awards and recognitions, including an honorary doctorate, and a grant program in his name for black deaf gallaudet students. gallaudet called him “the father of deaf education in africa” and the national black deaf association presented gallaudet with a statue of him, which was the first time a black deaf person was ever honored

Doctor Pearl

Pearl is awarded with an honorary doctorate from Delmarva State University (go Seagulls!) for helping the history department with firsthand knowledge of the region through the years. But when Pearl takes the distinction too far and starts insisting on being referred to as “Doctor” and acts superior to everyone, the other Gems decide to fight back by acting like unruly college students.

Doreen Massey (1944-2016) was a geographer and social scientist, particularly concerned with topics of feminist and cultural geography. She was an Emeritus Professor of Geography at the Open University.

Her work established the relationship between geographical space and social division, analysing the divisions between rich and poor regions within countries or continents. For her efforts, she was rewarded with several honorary doctorates from universities all over the world, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, as well as of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Charlie Chaplin & child prodigy 12 year violinist Yehudi Menuhin, considered one of the greatest of the 20th Century.

In December 1928, Charlie attended a Los Angeles performance of Yehudi, standing backstage he congratulated him,  inviting him and his father to the set of “City Lights”

In a twist of irony - in June 1962 both 73 year old Charlie Chaplin & 46 year old Yehudi Menuhin attended a ceremony at Oxford University, both awarded honorary doctorates.

DanaiGurira: Last one! 12 Things I must give thanks for as I say goodbye to 2016:
10. My wonderful alma mater Macalester College for giving me an honorary doctorate. Honestly, I didn’t realize it was a thing till I saw my parents’ reaction. I’m getting used to my Mom calling me Doc D!
11. And in that vein, my parents, who are some of the most lovable, smart, caring, hard working, supportive people I could ever come to know. I am thankful to have been reared by them. You made me give a darn and for that I am thankful.
12. My community, my ‘village’; so many close and true friends, confidants, mentors both spiritual and professional and family, who saw me through this year with support and celebration, encouraging me and reminding me of the blessing as I advanced through arguably the most demanding year of my life. I only hope and pray I am close to being that quality of person in your lives.
Happy New Year everyone!!

Happy Birthday Scottish stand up comedian, musician and actor, Billy Connolly born in Glasgow 24th November 1942.

Well what can I say about “The Big Yin” he has been a part of our lives here in Scotland for so long.   He has received numerous awards and recognition for his work including an honorary Doctor of Letters, from the University of Glasgow.
He started off his career as a welder in the shipyards of Glasgow but soon became well-known as a folk singer. Later on he indulged himself into full fledged comedy and established himself as an ace comedian with passing time. He has a keen interest in football and is a patron of national association of bikers with disability.

I think my first real memory of him was on the Parkinson show in 1975, although he was making a name for himself well beforehand, he had sold out the Pavilion Theatre the year before, he was little known outside Scotland.  Michael Parkinson and Billy hit it off and their friendship exists to this day, Billy made an amazing 15 appearances on his chat show, more than any other guest.
Billy married his long term girlfriend Iris Pressagh in 1969 and after the success that came due to the Parkinson appearance the pair moved from Glasgow to a plush house in Drymen, Stirlingshire but both hit the bottle as Billy’s celebrity grew and he quit Scotland for London in 1981, divorcing Iris four years later. He married Pamela Stephenson in 1989 and has two children to Iris and three to Pamela. 

As well as his comedy Billy has had numerous acting roles to look back on, Down among the big boys being one of my faves, he has also played the famous character Deacon Brodie, The Big Man, Mrs Brown, The Last Samurai and Brave are but a few others. In the states he was in Head of the Class and the spin off aptly named Billy, he has also appeared in the popular shows 3rd Rock from the Sun, Columbo and House.
You have to also mention his songs, The Wellie boot song, the parody songs, In the Brownies and the number one hit D.I.V.O.R.C.E, as well as the theme tune to Supergran.
Billy was diagnosed with cancer and Parkinson’s disease on the same day in 2012 successfully overcoming cancer he continues to battle the latter and has cut his workload accordingly. I think anyone who watched his Tracks Across America will have noticed how the degenerative disorder has affected him.  Love him or hate him Billy has been a massive part in our lives for such a long time and at 74 perhaps he needs to take a back seat and enjoy his retirement.
I have met Billy a couple of times, the first was over 20 years ago on Princes Street Edinburgh where I asked him to sign some copies of the Big Issue for a seller I knew, the second was fleetingly on St Andrews Square after he had just been given a parking ticket.

The picture shows Billy when he was honoured with Special Recognition award at National Television Awards this year.


[top]  Frances Wilson, 1961.

Frances, a 23 year old student at Tennessee State University, was expelled for her participation in the Freedom Rides along with 14 other students. In 2008, the expelled students all received honorary doctorates from Tennessee State University. Sadly, Frances did not live long enough to receive her degree.

[bottom]  Freedom Rider Rita Carter, 1961.

Rita, then an 18 year student Oakland City College, rode on the Illinois Central Railroad from New Orleans, Louisiana to Jackson, Mississippi where she was arrested with nearly a dozen others on June 20, 1961.

Chien-Shiung Wu (1912-1997) was a Chinese-American scientist who made important contributions to the field of nuclear physics. She is best known for conducting the Wu experiment, and for separating uranium metal into isotopes. These achievements led to her two male colleagues winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957.

After finishing her initial studies in China, she moved to the US and studied at Berkeley, where she completed her PhD. She was then a research professor at Columbia University. She was the first woman to receive an honorary doctorate from Princeton, and the first female president of the American Physical Society.