For those of us who aren't important enough to receive them, honorary degrees are a bit of a mystery. They don't really mean anything (unless you're Frank Ocean), but they are a pretty big deal symbolically. Holocaust survivor and author Elie Weisel, and Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda have each received more than 100 of the degrees, and there are countless others who are honored at commencements around the world for their achievements in a particular field, or because the college wanted some stars on stage.
Pratt Institute has announced their list of 2014 honorary degree recipients, which includes designer Karim Rashid, Brooklyn Museum director Arnold Lehman, New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman (who will also deliver the commencement address), and multi-media artist Yoko Ono.
Ono's degree is said to be in recognition of her achievements as a "thought-provoking visionary artist." Pratt cites her current retrospective at Guggenheim Bilbao as well as previous exhibitions featuring her work at the Whitney Museum, Carnegie Hall, Serpentine Gallery, and a number of other venues as reasons why Ono deserves the honor.
Recipients typically get to speak at the ceremony, so we hope that one of the 1,050 graduating students is smart enough to record this moment.