Actor and Philanthropist Patrick Dempsey Awarded Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at Bowdoin College

Bowdoin President Barry Mills congratulates Patrick Dempsey (Photo: © Bob Handelman)

Maine native Patrick Dempsey — who plays Dr. Derek Shepherd on the hit television series Grey’s Anatomy — became “a real doctor” Saturday when he was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters by Bowdoin College in recognition of his efforts to support cancer research and treatment in his home state. In his remarks, delivered during Bowdoin’s Reunion Convocation in the Sidney J. Watson Arena, Dempsey credited his community for building and sustaining his success as an actor, philanthropist and sportsman.

Watch a video of the ceremony and Dempsey’s remarks here.


  1. A well deserved honor. Great acceptance speech – just the right amount of humor and all done without any apparent notes. Truly refreshing to see someone use his celebrity for such a good cause.

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