I enjoyed the article on honorary degrees in the June 24 issue of The Scientist [page 1], and I agree with Frederick Kelly of the American Association of University Administrators that honorary degrees given to truly deserving individuals serve to enhance the commencement proceedings and make the event more memorable. This is particularly true for smaller schools.

On May 18, Delaware Valley College, a small, private school in eastern Pennsylvania, awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree to Robert Bruce Merrifield, the 1984 Nobel laureate in chemistry. Merrifield's acceptance remarks dealt with the importance of a rigorous undergraduate education in establishing the foundations for future personal and professional growth.

Delaware Valley College has traditionally focused on education in the sciences and agriculture. A study published in the November/December 1986 issue of the educational journal Change and based upon information from the National Academy of Sciences found that it ranked fourth,...

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