Paging Dr. Taylor Swift! Taylor just received an honorary doctorate degree from New York University after giving the commencement speech, and she seems super excited about the whole thing— cap, gown, pre-speech jitters and all. Congrats, Tay!
The singer, 32, joked with Vogue a while ago, saying she really wanted to get an honorary doctorate because Ed Sheeran has one. Enter NYU to save the day!
As she headed off to get her degree, the pop star shared on TikTok that she was “wearing a cap and gown for the very first time – see you soon NYU 🥺🥰🗽#swifttok #classof2022.” And also shared images of herself getting ready for the big day.
Taylor received a Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, BTW. “I’m 90% sure that the reason I’m here is because I have a song called ‘22,’” she joked in her commencement speech.
She continued, “I’d to thank NYU for making me technically, on paper at least, a doctor. Not the type of doctor you would want around in the event of an emergency.” But, she said, she’s a good doctor to have handy if you need a song “with catchy hook and an intensely cathartic bridge section” or “that you needed a person who can name over 50 breeds of cat in one minute.”
Of course, everyone had a lot of questions about her degree and the fact she had apparently never donned a cap and gown before. What diplomas does she have? (Besides, ya know, the diploma of ultra-famous stardom.) Here’s what you need to know.
Did Taylor go to college?
Nope. Her career took off when she was around 15 and it was kinda hard to fit college into the mix then. Understandable.
Taylor did, however, go to high school at Hendersonville High School in Tennessee for two years before transferring to Aaron Academy. The transfer meant she was better able to work around her touring schedule with homeschooling. She graduated a year early. High school diploma: check.
“I never got to have the normal college experience, per se,” she said in her speech. “I went to public high school until tenth grade and finished my education doing homeschool work on the floors of airport terminals. Then I went out on the road on a radio tour, which sounds incredibly glamorous but in reality it consisted of a rental car, motels, and my mom and I pretending to have loud mother-daughter fights with each other during boarding so no one would want the empty seat between us on Southwest.”
But now she can add one more to that list: doctorate.
What is an “honorary doctorate degree”?
An honorary degree is a degree—usually a doctorate like the one Tay just got—that’s given to someone who didn’t go to that school or didn’t complete a similar level of education required to receive the degree. (So, no, Taylor never went to or studied at NYU.) Basically, the school waives all the requirements needed to obtain a specific degree.
Why? It’s a way for an institution to honor the accomplishments and contributions an individual has made in a particular field. Like Taylor and the arts.
And supportive boyfriend Joe Alwyn certainly seems to agree that it’s a big deal.
“It’s an incredible honor, it’s absolutely amazing,” he told Extra in an interview.
Wait, but why is she getting this degree?
Well, NYU has been a big Swiftie for a while now. The school’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music launched a course in January that was dedicated to Taylor’s business and writing practices. It also looked at how fandom, gender, and race come together in the music industry.
NYU had this to say about Taylor in a press release about her degree:
“An 11-time Grammy winner, Ms. Swift is one of the most prolific and celebrated artists of her generation. She is the only female artist in history to win the music industry’s highest honor, the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, three times. Her many awards and distinctions include being the most awarded artist ever in American Music Awards’ history along with being named Artist of the Decade; winner of the BRIT Awards International Female Solo Artist of the Year in 2015 and the Global Icon Award in 2021; and Billboard’s first-ever and only two-time winner of the Woman of the Decade Award.”
Whew! That’s…a lot.
And what did she have to say in her speech?
Taylor cracked plenty of jokes (see above) but she also gave some really heartfelt words of encouragement to the class of 2022.
“Not a single one of us here today has done it alone,” she said. “We are each a patchwork quilt of those who have loved us, those who have believed in our futures, those who showed us empathy and kindness or told us the truth even when it wasn’t easy to hear. … I hope you’ll find your own way to express your gratitude for all the steps and missteps that have led us to this common destination.”
“I won’t tell you what to do because no one likes that,” she later said, but she did offer up some really great advice. “You can’t carry all things, all grudges, all updates on your ex, all enviable promotions your school bully got at the hedge fund his uncle started. Decide what is yours to hold and let the rest go,” she shared. Truth!
So…will she go by “Dr. Swift” now?
Probably only for fun. While she seems really, really stoked about her degree, Tay’s Instagram profile doesn’t make any mention of it…yet.
But Swifties already know she’s got a PhD in Making People Feel All The Feels.
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