Longtime NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw became the first recipient of an honorary degree from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine on Saturday. The Rochester Post Bulletin reports the award was given during the commencement ceremony at Mayo Civic Center. The journalist delivered a 20-minute speech for the 84-member graduating class.
"He was an easy choice because he is a person of significance in America," said Mayo Clinic President and CEO John Noseworthy of the decision to award an honorary doctor of letters degree to Brokaw.
Brokaw, 73, joined the Mayo Clinic's Board of Trustees in 2008. The South Dakota native has called Mayo "the finest health care system in the world."
In a departure from his traditional role as a straight-faced news man, Brokaw's casual storytelling often drew laughter from the crowd. However, he also addressed serious issues.
"You should go out and make a buck, but also remember (to) make a difference," Brokaw told the graduates as he signed off from the podium.