Harvard holds 363rd commencement exercises

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Former president George H.W. Bush and singer Aretha Franklin were among eight people who received honorary degrees at Harvard University's commencement exercises.

Harvard President Drew Faust poked fun at the 89-year-old Bush's Yale University credentials, saying his "cap was blue, his house was white and now his robe is crimson," but she credited his leadership, saying he "piloted our nation though changeful skies."

Bush smiled and gestured to the crowd as he received the doctor of laws degree, but did not stand.

The 72-year-old Franklin accompanied herself on piano as she sang the National Anthem and later received an honorary doctor of arts degree.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also received an honorary degree.

The university awarded more than 7,300 degrees and certificates Thursday at its 363rd commencement.


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