Former President George H. W. Bush, left, shakes hands with Vice President and Secretary of Harvard University Marc Goodheart, right, as Bush is awarded with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during Harvard commencement ceremonies, Thursday, May 29, 2014, in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

George HW Bush, Queen of Soul honored at Harvard

More Photos

See all photos

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- A former president and the Queen of Soul have received honorary degrees from Harvard University.

George H.W. Bush, Aretha Franklin, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and five others were honored at Thursday's commencement.

Harvard President Drew Faust poked fun at the 89-year-old Bush's Yale University credentials, saying his "cap was blue, his house was white and now his robe is crimson."

Bush smiled and gestured to the crowd as he received the doctor of laws degree but didn't stand.

The 72-year-old Franklin accompanied herself on piano to perform the national anthem. She received an honorary doctor of arts.

Bloomberg criticized intolerance in his commencement speech. He urged graduates to stand up for free expression, saying "our nation will be stronger for it."

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Top Stories

  • Exception to the Rule
    Socialist party defends paying $13 hour an hour while calling for much higher minimum wage

  • What Took So Long?
    WSDOT explains why it took so long to clean up a collision on I-5 Monday morning

  • All You Can Eat
    6 belt-loosening food challenges in Seattle you may not be man enough to complete
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.