Honorary degrees are the academic equivalent of a blowjob after an expensive meal. In exchange for the celebrity and notoriety that a public visit brings to a university campus, the Dean will present framed parchment to the wealthy guest which is certainly more appropriate than dropping to their knees out of gratitude for the visit and the national media attention it brings. For the rich, honorary degrees represent bragging rights and provide the opportunity to showcase how far up the social ladder they have climbed.
Just as there is status and hierarchy associated with one’s alma mater, there is a pecking order among universities and their faculties which the wealthy instinctively know. This means that receiving an honorary doctorate in literature from Montana State University is a little like receiving the award for Miss Congeniality at the State Fair and doesn’t carry the same weight as an honorary doctorate of astrophysics from MIT. All the same, there are two schools of thought among the wealthy when amassing honorary accolades; accept only high quality, Ivy League honors or become an unapologetic degree whore. Naturally, if they are able to combine the two, they will have achieved the equivalent of walking on the moon.
Keep in mind, these pseudo-academic plaudits are an outstanding cornerstone for developing a relationship with the rich. Remember, rich people like to be doted upon so take advantage of their vanity. Compile a list of notable honorary recipients from impressive institutions then parlay this knowledge into a compliment regardless of how transparent your attempts at flattery are. For example, mention that Nelson Mandela, Al Gore and Quincy Jones have received honorary degrees so your rich friend is in good company. They will burst with pride at the comparisons and will be happy to engage in conversation. Importantly, do not under any circumstances ask about the size of donation they may have provided because despite the motto at Victoria University of Wellington, Sapientia magis auro desideranda, when it comes to honorary degrees, gold is actually preferable to wisdom!