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GDU Defends Status as Champion Laughingstock of North America

LOL! You have to be here to appreciate how ludicrously typical this is. Colleagues are still hooting with ecstatic hilarity (heaven knows we have little enough to laugh at around that place) over columnist Gail Collins’s choice words:

Obama’s round of spring events will culminate in appearances at graduation ceremonies in Notre Dame (where the local bishop is ticked off about the abortion thing) and Arizona State University, where he is not going to receive an honorary degree. A spokeswoman for the university explained that it was withholding that honor from the president because “his body of work is yet to come.”

Tough standards, A.S.U.!

Snark! Gasp…catch your breath, pick yourself up off the floor, and tool on over to CNN, where Our Beloved Employer’s p.r. staff can be seen digging us in even deeper:

The university says that the president’s achievements have yet to rate the honor, and is directing reporters to use a statement given to the Associated Press. “His body of work is yet to come. That’s why we’re not recognizing him with a degree at the beginning of his presidency,” Media Relations Director Sharon Keller told the AP Thursday.

The university’s guidelines say the degree is merited by “significant contributions to education and society over the course of a person’s career,” though Sandra Day O’Connor and Barry Goldwater — both Arizonans — received the honor after the latter had served just over one term in the Senate, and the former was roughly three years into her Supreme Court tenure. Also honored: activist Cesar Chavez, legendary Arizona senator and former presidential candidate Mo Udall, and broadcaster Walter Cronkite.

Here in the blogosphere, one wit notes that the Great Desert University adjudges Erma Bombeck’s opus sufficient to merit an honorary degree, to say nothing of Jerry Colangelo’s and Steve Allen’s. Backs against the wall, administrators personfully stick with their decision to withhold an honorary degree from the President of the United States but instead will name a scholarship after him.

Mighty white of ’em, eh?

Meanwhile, the highly educated products of our elite institution, patriotic young entrepreneurs steeped in the significance of their nation’s history and place in the world, have made themselves busy peddling their tickets to the graduation ceremony. Entrée to hear the first African American President of the United States in person comes cheap at the Great Desert University: $60 to $100 a seat.

God, what an embarrassment to be associated with that outfit! How can I count the ways I love the prospect of exiting, pursued by…whatever?
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Laughingstock Postscript
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5 thoughts on “GDU Defends Status as Champion Laughingstock of North America”

  1. I keep thinking you’re exaggerating . . .

    Something similar happened (on a smaller scale) at a school where I once taught. Frances Moore Lappe (of Diet for a Small Planet fame) was an alum and invited to give a speech. The biology department resisted giving her an honorary degree, on the grounds that she was a popular author and her work wasn’t “real science.” I can’t remember what the upshot was–I think she was granted the degree–but the discussion took weeks.

    Do you have a ticket?

  2. Tickets are reserved for graduating students and families. I think faculty can get them, but of course I won’t be faculty by next spring. Thank goodness!

    The beauty of GDU is that you don’t have to exaggerate. All you have to do is report what they say, word for word. 😀

  3. I am laughing out loud! I too have believed in the past that you have a knack storytelling, and all good storytelling includes a little stretch…but I see from the papers that you are but a faithful and factual reporter. As they say in VT, CMTSU (can’t make this s**t up). Hilarious and yes, indeedy, tis mighty white of them.

  4. My mother used to look at a spectacular Arizona sunset and say, “If you painted that, no one would believe it.”

    Well, it’s like that with GDU. Only ever so much more outrageous!

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