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George H.W. Bush, Aretha Franklin Honored At Harvard Graduation

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Harvard Honorands (front left to right) Seymour Slive, Provost Alan Garber, Michael Bloomberg, President Drew Faust, former President George H.W. Bush. (Back row, left to right) Peter Raven, Patricia King, Joseph Stiglitz, Isabel Allende, and Aretha Franklin. (Photo credit: Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer/ via Facebook)

Harvard Honorands (front left to right) Seymour Slive, Provost Alan Garber, Michael Bloomberg, President Drew Faust, former President George H.W. Bush. (Back row, left to right) Peter Raven, Patricia King, Joseph Stiglitz, Isabel Allende, and Aretha Franklin. (Photo credit: Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer/ via Facebook)

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A former president and the Queen of Soul have received honorary degrees from Harvard University.

George H.W. Bush, Aretha Franklin and six others were honored at Thursday’s commencement.

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 added that Bush “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 to perform the National Anthem. She later received an honorary doctor of arts degree.

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

Harvard awarded more than 7,300 degrees and certificates at its 363rd commencement.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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