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Ben Affleck to receive honorary doctorate from Brown University

April 25, 2013|By Nardine Saad
  • Ben Affleck will receive an honorary doctorate from Brown University.
Ben Affleck will receive an honorary doctorate from Brown University. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)

Good Ben Hunting! Ben Affleck is getting an honorary degree from Brown University.

Is this life imitating art?

The Academy Award-winning producer and philanthropist, 40, is set to receive the honorary degree from the Providence, R.I.-based university along with five others at the institution's commencement ceremony May 26, according to Brown.

The Ivy League university will be giving the "Argo" actor/producer/director a doctorate of fine arts. The other honorary doctorates will be awarded to MIT professor Junot Diaz, Brown bacteriologist Stanley Falkow, Brown's Tougaloo College President Beverly Wade Hogan, physician Risa Lavizzo-Mourey and Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron. None of the six will be the commencement's speaker.

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At Brown, like many universities, recipients are nominated and then voted on by the Board of Fellows. The nomination deadline was in September, far before "Argo" swept the award season, according to an e-mail correspondence from the university.

And what is an honorary degree, exactly? Well it's a degree that a distinguished person is awarded without having to go through the regular requirements to obtain it (you know, registering, attending classes, writing a thesis or dissertation or doing anything of academic merit, really). It's more like an award or certificate and it generally benefits the benefactor more than the recipient because the institution gets its name associated with a person of stature.

Or an Oscar winner.

So don't go calling him Dr. Benjamin Affleck just yet. Not all universities allow the prefix for getting the honorary degree no matter how much we like the sound of Dr. Ben ...

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Nardine Saad

Follow Ministry of Gossip @LATcelebs.

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