Paul McCartney gets Yale honorary degree

Beatle receives Doctor of Music degree

Paul McCartney can now add one more honor to the numerous awards, accolades and the knighthood he has already received. The Beatle on Monday was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University.

In granting the honorary degree to McCartney -- Sir Paul McCartney since he was knighted in 1996 -- the university said no one compares with the legendary songwriter.

Yale said McCartney, 65, awakened a generation, giving a fresh sound to rock 'n' roll and to R&B.

A band played Beatles hit "Hey Jude" as McCartney walked onstage to accept the honorary degree. Yale University president Richard Levin evoked some of the songwriter's most memorable lines.

"Here, there and everywhere," Levin said, quoting a line from a Beatles song, "you have pushed the boundaries of the familiar to create new classics. We admire your musical genius and your generous support of worthy causes."

New Haven, Conn., was the site of a British invasion of sorts Sunday, as McCartney and former Prime Minister Tony Blair were in town for Yale's 307th commencement. Blair's eldest son, Euan, is completing a two-year master's program in international relations, and the former prime minister, who is to teach a course in the fall, gave a speech Sunday to Yale students on foreign relations.

McCartney on Sunday toured a downtown art gallery and dined with Yale dignitaries.

Yale also conferred honorary degrees on former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills, astronomer Martin Rees, architect Cesar Pelli, poet John Lawrence Ashbery and others.