Harvard awards George H.W. Bush honorary degree
May 29th, 2014
12:30 PM ET
4 months ago

Harvard awards George H.W. Bush honorary degree

(CNN) - When Harvard University leaders awarded former President George H.W. Bush an honorary degree Thursday, they made sure to mention his alma mater.

"It is seldom on this stage that we take the occasion to honor a former member of the cheerleading squad at Yale," Harvard Provost Alan Garber said in light-hearted remarks about the 41st president.

Bush, sitting on stage, joined the audience as they laughed. Along with cheerleading, Bush played baseball for Yale University, a Ivy League rival of Harvard's, before graduating in 1948.

He was awarded a doctorate of laws at the commencement event, just two weeks before his 90th birthday on June 12.

Garber went on to highlight the president's storied career, noting his time not only as president, but as vice president, CIA director, ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee, U.S. congressman and navy pilot in World War II.

When Garber mentioned that Bush married his wife, the former Barbara Pierce, in 1945, Bush looked out into the audience and excitedly pointed to someone in the crowd, presumably to the former first lady. Garber paused while Bush helped lead the audience in applause.

The provost also recognized Bush's nonprofit work after the White House.

"His cap was blue, his house was white, and now his robe is crimson: George H.W. Bush, doctor of laws," Harvard President Drew Faust said as Bush was presented the degree.

Seven others received honorary degrees from Harvard Thursday, including former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and music icon Aretha Franklin.

The former president has multiple other honorary degrees, including from Yale, Hofstra University and Dartmouth College.

CNN Senior Producer Kevin Bohn contributed to this report.


Filed under: George H.W. Bush
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Rusty Krus

    What a grand old fellow! He forgot where he was on November 22 1963; reports say he was in Dallas. I was in Mrs. Finnegan's first grade class and I will never forget that moment. Good Old George and his family of "patriotic" leaders.

    May 29, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    "It is seldom on this stage that we take the occasion to honor a former member of the cheerleading squad at Yale,"
    -------------------------------------
    They're all Freemasons & Skull & Bones members. Who cares really?

    May 29, 2014 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    --while Harvard grads are unemployed for years, does this mean anything–another piece of paper to the credit of last name.

    May 29, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  4. smith

    @Gurgyl-If a Harvard grad is unemployed for years then that grad majored in something worthless.

    May 29, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. smendler

    I do NOT approve. -signed, Harvard grad, class of 1978

    May 29, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. just asking

    Gurgyl
    –while Harvard grads are unemployed for years,
    --

    they can send that thank you card to obama and the democrats but they get no sympathy from me as they probably voted for him so they are getting what they voted for and deserve. some things you don't learn in school, but from making mistakes. hopefully they have learned their lesson.

    May 29, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    Gurgyl

    –while Harvard grads are unemployed for years, does this mean anything–another piece of paper to the credit of last name.
    -------–
    Hey... if you had it, you could claim to have FIVE university degrees instead of the four you claim you have.

    May 29, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  8. Bill from GA

    Donna – " A great man, a true leader. He knew what had to be done "

    When taxes had to be raised to pay for his war, he raised taxes. And was condemned by the righties and turned out to pasture for doing so. Righties sure know how to show their respect and appreciation.

    May 29, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. Donna

    Bill from GA
    --
    Donna – " A great man, a true leader. He knew what had to be done "
    --
    When taxes had to be raised to pay for his war, he raised taxes. And was condemned by the righties and turned out to pasture for doing so. Righties sure know how to show their respect and appreciation.
    --

    He lied and paid the price, as all politicians should. Obama and the Democrats have lied to the American people about Obamacare and they will also pay the price in 2014 & 2016. Why shouldn't liars be turned out of office?

    May 29, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |