Max the Cat Awarded Honorary Doctorate by University of Vermont

University of Vermont

In a heartwarming and unique ceremony, Vermont State University’s Castleton campus recently conferred an honorary doctorate of “Doctor of Litter-ature” upon a beloved member of its community, Max the Cat. This unusual but delightful honor highlights the university’s recognition of Max’s significant contribution to campus life through his friendliness and charm.

Max’s Journey to Fame

Max, a friendly tabby cat, has been a familiar and cherished figure on the Castleton campus for several years. Originally a stray, Max found his way into the lives of the university students and staff, becoming an endearing part of their daily routines. His owner, Ashley Dow, lives near the university, and Max quickly adopted the campus as his second home. He often accompanies students on their walks, joins them during breaks, and even participates in campus tours with prospective students​ (The Independent)​​ (​.

A Campus Celebrity

Max’s presence on campus has been more than just a charming anecdote. Students and faculty alike have come to see Max as a symbol of comfort and companionship. His daily interactions with the campus community include being petted, taking selfies, and simply providing a calming presence during stressful times. Max’s friendly demeanor and his penchant for socializing have made him a favorite among the university population​ (The Independent)​.

The Honorary Degree

In recognition of his unique role on campus, Vermont State University decided to honor Max with an honorary doctorate. The degree, aptly named “Doctor of Litter-ature,” celebrates his contribution to the university’s community spirit. This honorary degree is a testament to the impact Max has had on those around him, making him a beloved and unforgettable figure at the university​ (​.

Community Reaction

The announcement of Max receiving an honorary doctorate was met with widespread joy and approval. On social media and in local news, the story of Max’s recognition was shared widely, bringing smiles to many. The university’s decision to honor Max reflects a broader understanding of the importance of animals and their emotional support in academic environments.

Students and alumni often inquire about Max, showing the lasting impression he has made. His honorary degree, while humorous in its title, underscores a sincere appreciation for the comfort and joy he brings to the campus community.

Max’s Life on Campus

Max’s typical day involves roaming the university grounds, often visiting spots where students gather. He has a knack for appearing during significant campus events, further endearing himself to the community. His ability to sense when he is needed most has made him a silent but powerful supporter of the university’s mission to foster a supportive and inclusive environment.

Ashley Dow, Max’s owner, recounts stories of how Max intuitively joins tours and greets new students, becoming an unofficial ambassador for the university. His presence has undoubtedly made the campus a warmer and more welcoming place​ (The Independent)​​ (​.


Max the Cat’s honorary doctorate from Vermont State University’s Castleton campus is a delightful reminder of the unique ways in which animals can enrich our lives. Max’s journey from a stray cat to a celebrated campus figure embodies the unexpected joys that can come from the simplest forms of companionship. The honorary “Doctor of Litter-ature” not only recognizes Max’s role at the university but also celebrates the bond between humans and animals, highlighting how even a small creature can have a big impact on a community.

Leave a Comment