Thursday, 23 April 2009

A fitting honour

Even though I was very unhappy with the third term of the Labour government in New Zealand, Helen Clark is one of my heroes.

I am delighted that her alma mater, the place where she studied and taught, has decided to award her an honorary doctorate.

Honorary doctorate for Helen Clark

Congratulations, Helen Clark.


Anna said...

It's an aside - but I'm not a huge fan of honorary doctorates. I'm not averse to recognising people's achievements or service, but I figure that's what we've got the honours system for. Giving someone a pretend PhD seems weird - like making them an honorary fire chief or Silver Ferns captain or something. Why give someone an 'award' which is usually earned by a specific process?

Deborah said...

An honorary doctorate is not the same thing as a PhD. Think of it more as being like a knighthood or damehood. The university is recognising someone of merit and standing, usually someone who has a connection with the university in some way, and to mark that, they will give them the title Dr. I don't think it's meant to be equivalent to a PhD.

Alison said...

I think part of the idea is that an alumnus has represented the university well, as well as achieving a lot for themselves.

I rather like the honorary doctorates - I'd accept one any day over a Damehood (you know, if someone offers me the choice :-\ )

I'm pleased. She's a hero of mine although I haven't voted for her recently, preferring to go green.

katy said...

People who are awarded honorary PhDs do not adopt the title Dr. It is listed "PhD Hon Caus (uni name)" after the name.

Anonymous said...

Yes as fitting as this great statesman

Julie said...

Yes Anon, very brave of you to point out that you think Helen Clark and Idi Amin are cut from the same cloth. I note Jenny Gibbs also has an honorary doctorate from UOA, does that put her in the frame for similar criticism from you?