US University Grants Honorary Degree To A Cat; 'Doctor of Litter-ature'

US University Grants Honorary Degree To A Cat; 'Doctor of Litter-ature'

According to the Castleton campus, Max has been an affectionate and integral part of the university community.

Siksha MUpdated: Sunday, May 19, 2024, 09:09 PM IST
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Congratulations Dr. Max Dow | Vermont State University Castleton/Instagram

In a unique ceremony, a cat named Max, who has become a beloved figure on the Vermont State University's Castleton campus, received an honorary degree of “Doctor of Litter-ature.” The ceremony took place on Saturday, honouring Max for his friendly and welcoming demeanour towards the students over the past four years.

According to the Castleton campus, Max has been an affectionate and integral part of the university community. In an Instagram post, the school announced, “Max the Cat has been an affectionate member of the Castleton family for years. While his adventures may have slowed, Max exemplifies the #CastletonWay and we are honored to have him as a member of VTSU's #firstclass.”

Max's journey to becoming a campus icon began when his family, who lives on the street leading to the campus's main entrance, noticed his penchant for visiting the university grounds. Over time, Max became a regular presence, socialising with students and becoming a fixture in their daily lives. His owner, Ashley Dow, shared with the Associated Press how Max's interactions have brought joy to many. “They pick him up and take selfies with him, and he even likes to go on tours with prospective students that meet at a building across from the family’s house,” Dow explained. “I don't even know how he knows to go, but he does. And then he'll follow them on their tour.”

Vermont State University Castleton/Instagram

The affection students have for Max was evident when he once stopped visiting the campus. In his absence, students created a makeshift shrine with candles and a framed picture of Max, highlighting the deep bond he has formed with the campus community. “It had candles and everything. And the picture of Max that they had printed out and put in a frame,” Dow recounted.

Known affectionately as Max's mother among the students, Dow often receives inquiries about Max's well-being from graduates who return to visit. Although Max will not be attending the graduation ceremony in person, the honorary degree will be handed over to Dow, acknowledging the special place Max holds in the hearts of the Castleton students and faculty.

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