Honorary Degree Speculation Rises

Cambridge is abuzz with the rumor that President Bok will finally give Rodney Dangerfield the respect he insists he deserves, and award the saloon-keeper-Class Day speaker an honorary Doctor of Comedy degree at Thursday's Commencement exercises.

Willis Reed?

Retiring logician W.V.O. Quine seems a likely bet to mount the podium, along with Dangerfield and Commencement speaker Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Billy Martin is not.

Tommy Stefanian?

The identities of degree recipients are traditionally kept secret up to the last minute, but informed sources are pitting their money on heart-throb John Travolta. Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-N.Y.) is another likely candidate, although fellow New Yorker Joe Torre, like the Mets he manages, is out of the running this year.

Dorothy Hamill?

Professor Emeritus Erik H. Erikson will nab one of the precious parchments. Abe Beame and John Havlicek have both declined the honor this time around.

Pat Sorrento?

There is no reason to suspect that either George Wallace or Jerry Koosman will have any reason to make a trip to Cambridge this spring.

Bokassa I? Nixon? Tatum O'Neal?

Neither Barbara Walters nor Barbara Stanwyck is given much of a shot this year, but Lew Brooks and retiring Div School Dean Krister Stendahl will probably get the call.

Somosa? Ali? John Wayne? Fanne Fox? Muriel Humphrey? The Amazing Kreskin?

Speculation over honorary degrees has been unusually spirited this year.