Aretha Franklin is Awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Princeton University
Franklin Receives her 12th Honorary Doctorate Degree
New York, NY – Multiple GRAMMY Award-winner Aretha Franklin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Princeton University during its 265th Commencement ceremony on Tuesday, June 5. The graduation ceremony for the Class of 2012 was held on Princeton University’s front lawn of the historic Nassau Hall. This is Franklin’s 12th honorary doctorate degree. Princeton University President Shirley M. Tilghman, presided over the ceremony, with over 10,000 students and guests attending.
“President Shirley Tilghman, the Trustees, Ms. Brooks, the music department, staff and faculty were all most welcoming, elegant and gracious,” said Franklin. “I am so pleased and thankful for the most prestigious gift of this honorary degree from this revered and world famous institution of higher learning, Princeton University. And the grace of God that has brought me thus far and grace will lead me on.”
Franklin was among six Honorary Degree recipients, who also included Peter Carril, Doctor of Humanities; Eduardo Padrón, Doctor of Laws; Joan Wallach Scott, Doctor of Humane Letters; Joseph Taylor Jr., Doctor of Science; Karen Uhlenbeck, Doctor of Science.
Franklin has received several honorary degrees, including an Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree, Yale University, 2010; an Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree, Berklee College of Music, 2006; an Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree, The New England Conservatory of Music, 1995; an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Wayne State University, 1990; an Honorary Doctorate of Music Degree, The University of Michigan, 1987; and an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree, The Bethune-Cookman College, 1975.
ABOUT ARETHA FRANKLIN: Known around the world by her first name, and as the undisputed, reigning “Queen of Soul.” Aretha Franklin is peerless. She is one of the most influential and important voices in the history of American music with a repertoire that spans pop, soul, jazz, rock, blues and gospel. In 2009, Franklin was named the #1 Vocalist of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine.
Her ever-distinctive, soulful, to-the-bone vocal style has graced music charts for nearly five decades and her ‘live’ performances have touched the hearts of tens of millions since she began her musical journey in Detroit as a singing child prodigy. It is her rich legacy of recordings that are a testament to the power, majesty and genius of this one-of-a-kind artist of the first order. Aretha Franklin has earned countless international and national awards as well as accolades and global recognition on an unprecedented scale. She is a 2005 recipient of a Presidential Medal of Freedom honor, presented by President George W. Bush (the U.S.A.’s highest honor), and in 1999, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts, presented by President Bill Clinton. She sang at the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama (2009) and President Bill Clinton (1993).
She also performed at the inaugural gala for President Jimmy Carter (2007). In 1968, she sang at the funeral of Martin Luther King. Jr. She is the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor, 18 GRAMMY Awards including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for eight consecutive years, a GRAMMY Legend Award, a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award, five American Music Awards, and four NAACP Image Awards. In 1987, she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1979, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2007, Franklin was honored at the Annual UNCF Evening of Stars and was presented with UNCF’s Award of Excellence. She was named 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year by the Recording Academy and she was presented with the prestigious NAACP Vanguard Award. In 2010, she was inducted into the Apollo Legends Hall of Fame at the Apollo Theater. In April 2012, Franklin received the TV Land Music Icon Award. To date, she has received 12 Honorary Doctorate Degrees.