Jim Carrey was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa this weekend. The 52-year-old actor and comedian was honored in recognition of his significant lifetime achievements as a world-famous comedian and actor, as well as an artist, author, and philanthropist. Carrey also gave a commencement speech that was 'inspiring, funny, and enlightening.'
"He started with some locally related jokes, which drew approving applause and a lot of laughter. He inspired the students to think big and not give in to fear, but to choose love. Many said it was the best commencement talk ever," the university said in a written statement.
The Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber actor shared a few of his childhood experiences with over 1000 people present at the event. In addition he told them some things he learned from his father, who "could have been a comedian but chose to be an accountant because he wanted a stable job."
— Vincent Argiro (@vjargiro) May 25, 2014
Sadly, Jim Carrey's father lost that job when Carrey was 12.
"I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you could fail at what you don't love, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love," he said before he stated the obvious--that he chose to be a comedian.
"When I was about 28, after a decade as a professional comedian, I realized one night in LA, the purpose of my life had always been to free people from concern, just like my dad," he said. "I can tell you from experience the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is."
Even though he was met with cheers from the crowd of graduates and their families, not everyone was pleased with Jim Carrey being awarded this honorary doctorate, however.
Major people in politics and freedom are rejected as grad speakers, but Jim Carrey gets an honorary doctorate.Well, there's your problem...
— Kevin McCarthy (@OgreMkV) May 27, 2014
Honorary doctorates like the one Jim Carrey was given are nothing more than a symbol of significant accomplishment. While Carrey earned this in his work as an actor and comedian, he certainly doesn't hold a legitimate doctorate. Since it seemed the graduates enjoyed his speech and appreciated the honor bestowed upon him, they didn't lose out for not having listened to a major political figure--and they likely got a kick out of having a Hollywood celebrity give their commencement address.
Image via Wikimedia Commons