Colleges: Kudos

Much like the laurel wreath of ancient Greece, the honorary degree is to some extent a measure of the nation's esteem for human achievement. This year the man most voluminously laureled by the U.S. academic community was Jesuit Theologian John Courtney Murray (TIME cover, Dec. 12, 1960), chief architect of the Vatican Council's historic declaration on religious liberty. He received six honorary doctorates, from Yale, Columbia, Fordham, Gonzaga, Fairfield and Detroit universities.

Government leaders also rated high in the judgment of colleges, both great and small. Winning five honorary degrees each were...