Washington Irving hangs at Harvard University

Published:

2/12/10

What do Benjamin Franklin, Walt Disney, Mother Teresa, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Albert Einstein have in common with Washington Irving?  Why, they were all honorary degree recipients at Harvard University!

While traveling widely, Irving befriended people everywhere, from presidents and kings to village neighbors and children, and became one of America's most beloved and respected citizens and ambassadors.

The honors bestowed upon him during his lifetime confirm the high regard in which he was held by his contemporaries.

Washington Irving received Harvard's honorary degree in 1832 (LL.D.).  He also received honorary degrees from Columbia University (A.M. 1821, LL.D.1829) and from Oxford University (D.C.L. 1831).

We received this photograph of the original Harvard honorary degree from a current Harvard student. The honorary degree now lives on the wall in Harvard's Child Memorial Library along with a framed photo of Irving's study at his beloved Sunnyside homestead in Tarrytown, N.Y. Cool stuff!

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