Recently Yale was in a state of excitement: this past Sunday, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivered the Class Day address to the graduating Yale seniors and on Monday, Sir Paul McCartney was one of eight people to receive honorary degrees from the university. Oh yeah, and John Ashbery - in my opinion one of the greatest living poets in the world - received one, too.
From the Hartford Courant:
The band played "Hey Jude" as ex-Beatle Paul McCartney stepped on stage Monday to accept an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University. In a short tribute, Yale President Richard Levin evoked some of the songwriter's most memorable lines.
"There is no one compares with you," Levin told McCartney, riffing on the Beatles classic, "In My Life." "Your songs awakened a generation, giving a fresh sound to rock, roll, rhythm and blues."
"Here, there, and everywhere," Levin continued, citing another McCartney hit. "You have pushed the boundaries of the familiar to create new classics. We admire your musical genius and your generous support of worthy causes."
Architect Cesar Pelli, poet John Ashbery and Harvard's first female president, Drew Gilpin Faust, also received honorary degrees at Yale University's 307th commencement. Facing a courtyard packed with thousands of students and their parents, Levin told the graduates to aspire to creativity, curiosity, integrity and a passion for social justice.