ABC/Fred WatkinsCall him Dr. Wonder! Stevie Wonder received an honorary Doctorate of Music on Monday at Yale University’s commencement ceremony in New Haven, Connecticut the Hartford Courant reports.
In presenting the degree to the Motown legend, Yale President Peter Salovey gave an introductory speech that cleverly included a variety of references to Wonder songs.
“A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer with 25 Grammy Awards and an Oscar, you have always sung to us in the ‘Key of Life,’ while working to help the poor, sick and marginalized,” Salovey said. “Whether you were ‘Living for the City’ or speaking up for ‘Misrepresented People,’ you brought us to ‘Higher Ground,’ with your incisive protest songs…Sorcerer of song, in appreciation of your irresistible music and your courageous humanitarian efforts, we are proud to present you with this Doctor of Music degree. Signed, sealed, delivered — it’s yours!”
As Wonder took to the podium to accept the honor, the Yale University concert band played his classic song “I Wish.” Stevie reacted by smiling broadly and bowing rhythmically in appreciation. He was accompanied by his son Kwame.
While he didn’t sing onstage, Wonder told reporters that prior to the ceremony he visited Yale’s Sterling Memorial Library and played some music there. According to a spokeswoman for the school, Stevie performed a couple of tunes in the library, including “You Are the Sunshine of My Life.”
Wonder was one of eight notable people who received honorary degrees at the ceremony. Others included Former Secretary of State John Kerry and Georgia congressman and civil-rights leader John Lewis.
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