This week the singer and songwriter Taylor Swift received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from New York University and delivered the commencement address at the 2022 graduation ceremony at Yankee Stadium.
An honorary degree (university diploma) is an academic degree for which a university (or other degree-awarding institution) has waived (to drop) all of the usual requirements. It is also known by the Latin phrases honoris causa (« for the sake of the honour ») or ad honorem (« to the honour »).
One of her songs was named » The class of ’22 » and she joked that this was the reason she received the degree.
Her speech was inspiring and she went on to tell the graduates present « Never be ashamed of trying. Effortlessness is a myth. »
« I know it can be really overwhelming figuring out who to be, and when. Who you are now and how to act in order to get where you want to go, » she said. « I have some good news: it’s totally up to you. I also have some terrifying news: it’s totally up to you. »
Taylor concluded her speech by telling the graduates that making mistakes is inevitable — but she said that « when hard things happen to us, we will recover, we will learn from it, we will grow more resilient because of it. »
Listen to some of Taylor Swift’s songs (with the lyrics)