Cate Blanchett to Graduates: 'The Arts Are What We Stay Alive For'

Pam WrightLife

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Cate Blanchett received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree last week from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia for her professional and personal endeavors, according to the university’s website.

“Actor Cate Blanchett has received a Doctor of Letters honoris causa from Macquarie University today, recognizing her extraordinary contribution to the arts, philanthropy and the community,” said the university.

Vice-Chancellor Professor S. Bruce Dowton introduced Blanchett.

“Many of the students graduating today will feel great affection for Cate Blanchett, having grown up watching her in some of the most iconic films of their childhood and adolescence, and benefitting from her many contributions to our national conversation,” said Dowton.

This is the third honorary degree for the Australian Oscar-winner. She also has been recognized by the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney.

The National Institute of Dramatic Art graduate told graduating students professions in the arts are worthy endeavors.

“The arts are what we stay alive for, what we work all week for, what we dream about, what connects us and indeed, what some would say makes us human," said Blanchett. "It is the arts that has always been the driver of innovation and exploration. So remember when someone asks what the hell can you do with an Arts degree?, ask them what can the world do without one?”

Blanchett said creativity is necessary in all endeavors, including sciences like math and engineering.

"Within this broad church is housed a myriad of professions -- professions which some of you will participate in, help change, shape and evolve and I'd like to say today that it is the arts that have always been the driver of innovation and exploration," said Blanchett.

Born in Melbourne, Australia, the 45-year-old Blue Jasmine actress and her husband, Andrew Upton, have three children. The award-winning Blanchett has been honored for her work with two Academy Awards, three BAFTAs, and three Golden Globes.

Pam Wright