Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy was presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from George Washington University* 53 years ago today, May 3, 1961 here on the university campus in Georgetown.
In accepting the honorary degree, the President noted that his wife, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, graduated with a Bachelors of Arts from the university.
President Kennedy quipped:
"My wife beat me to this honor by about eight or nine years. It took her two years to get this degree and it took me two minutes."**
Jacqueline Bouvier graduated from GWU in 1951. Her major was French Literature. In the summer after her graduation, Miss Bouvier toured Europe with her sister.
According to the newsreel below, this was the first Honorary Degree John F. Kennedy received as President of the United States.
*George Washington University was created by Congress in 1821 fulfilling the vision of the 1st POTUS.
Today it is the largest institution of higher learning in the District of Columbia with more than 20,000 students from 50 states and 130 countries.
The university offers a range of study from forensic science to the law and public policy.
**JFK graduated from Harvard in 1940.