Universities typically confer an honorary degree on commencement speakers, particularly those who have reached the pinnacle of their career or achieved the top of their field. Arizona State University (ASU), though, says it will not confer an honorary degree on this year's commencement speaker, President Barack Obama, because "his body of work is yet to come."
ASU Media Relations Director Sharon Keeler says, unlike other universities, the processes for selecting commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients are independent. She says that honorary degrees are given "for an achievement of eminence" and that Obama was not considered for an honorary degree because his body of achievements, at this time, does not fit within that criteria.
Writing two best-sellers? Not outstanding. Developing one of the largest grassroots organizations in the world? Nothing special. Becoming the first African American President of the United States? Good, but nothing to write home about.
I wrote a note to ASU President Crow:
"I cannot believe that ASU doesn't think the President of the United States is worthy of an honorary degree. I think you need to review the committee that makes these decisions."If he isn't good enough to get an ASU degree, ASU isn't good enough to have him as their Graduation Speaker.
President Obama, from the time he was running for office, is clearly concentrating on putting Arizona in play for the Democrats.