While Bob was honored in the traditional way, he also received
some not-so-usual distinctions: He was made an "honorary student"
and presented a degree in "comedy" with a minor in "one-liners"
from the student body of UCLA; provided an honorary parking space
for one day a year at USC and was named "honorary mascot"
of fraternities and sororities at several institutions of higher
On four occasions he received honorary degrees with wife, Dolores,
and matched mortarboards and quips with Jack Benny at Jacksonville
University in 1972. At Quincy College, in June 1958, Senator "Jack"
Kennedy and Hope both received honorary degrees. He was made a Fellow
of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey, for, according
to Hope, "not singing," and was the commencement speaker
at all four of his children's graduation exercises, "in spite
of which," quipped Bob, "they still let the kids graduate."
In June 1990, Hope received an honorary diploma from Palm Springs
High School following his commencement address to the graduating
Doctor Hope did not take the task as commencement speaker lightly.
Many hours were spent in preparation of a speech which was always
topical and "on-target" with a blend of inspirational
commentary and one-liners. As one graduate was heard to comment,
"Hope not only leaves them laughing but leaves them thinking."
A Bob Hope commencement speech was always relevant - i.e.
"A good education is still the most valuable commodity a young
person can strive for... no matter what Bart Simpson says,"
"My favorite subject was ancient history. Of course, when
I went to school there wasn't much of it,"
and reflective for graduating seniors:
"There's never been a time in our history where young men
and women like you were better prepared to lead us into the 21st
Century. We're proud of you because you're going to start carrying
the torch of freedom and knowledge. And, someday, you'll have to
pass that torch on to others. When you do, it should be burning
stronger and brighter. That's the job that's ahead of all of you.Good
luck and God bless your efforts."
View a List of Degrees
Top of page.