President Obama was the speaker at Arizona State University on May 13, and wisely, ASU did not give him an honorary degree. At first they were, then there was some outcry, then they decided to name a scholarship program in his honor.
By all accounts Obama dazzled the crowd, with one student blogging that he “didn’t even look down at his speech” (his speech was on the teleprompter – so he didn’t have to look down). Grads had to arrive at 2:30 for a ceremony that started after 6 p.m. but who cares – it’s not about you – graduates – it is about Obama.
What puzzled me is what he wore. He is wearing a hood with bright blue – which is the color of a person who has earned a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). But Obama’s highest degree is a law degree – which is purple. And Obama’s degree is from Harvard – which has distinctive bright red regalia robes. You should be wearing regalia from the institution of your highest earned degree, or regalia from the institution giving you an honorary degree. But ASU was not giving him a degree, and he was wearing the identical regalia as ASU President Michael Crow.
Did they upgrade him by mistake? Or was this President Crow’s way to “give” him the honorary degree he wanted to give him – by having Obama at least wear the PhD regalia. Or did Crow just want a stage twin?
REPEATABLE: Regaliagate – I’m surprised he has not created his own Presidential regalia to be worn at Commencements: POTUSregalia. Where is his protocol office???