Huey P. Long Honorary Degree, 1931

In 1931, Loyola conferred one of the University’s top commendations, the honorary degree, on Louisiana politician Huey P. Long. Long served as Governor of Louisiana from 1928-1932 and then as State Senator until he was assassinated in 1935. “The Kingfish,” as Long was called, passed the bar exam after only a year at Tulane. While honorary degrees are usually conferred at Loyola’s commencement exercises, a special exception was made for Long and the ceremony was instead held in February “as this time was most convenient.” The then-Governor was sick but “having risen from a sick bed” received the honor in front of a crowd of 10,000 at the New Orleans Municipal Auditorium.

GOVERNOR HUEY P. LONG, senator-elect, wearing the hood of the doctorate placed on his shoulders by the REV. FLORENCE D. SULLIVAN, president of the university at an impressive ceremony which took place last Monday in the Municipal Auditorium. Courtesy of The States (1931-02-06)

Other 1930s recipients of Loyola’s honorary degree included writer and journalist Meigs O. Frost (1933) and Archbishop Rummel (1937). The first woman recipient of the honorary degree was Sister Stanislaus Malone (1936), Superior of the Daughters of Charity at Charity Hospital from 1914-1944. This year’s honorees are Tom Brokaw, Germaine Bazzle, and Dean Baquet. A full list of previous nominees can be found here.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

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