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I am very much pleased that you should wish to
recommend me3 to your Board of Trustees for an honorary degree, but I will
take advantage of our old acquaintance and privately ask you not to do so. It would
be impossible for me to go to Rockford4 this
year. Some time in January I accepted a similar invitation from a university near at hand5, and the Commencement date
falls within a week of the date which you mention as the date of the Rockford
College Commencement. The first weeks of June will be very busy ones for me, as I
willshall be preparing to go abroad6 and will have a good many business matters to
arrange here, so I dare not take on any more engagements.
I am glad to hear from you again, and I think I may whisper to you confidentially that honorary degrees become a rather embarrassing problem for a writer. It is difficult to say ‘no’ to kind invitations, but commencements always come at the busiest time of the year, when the heat is great and travelling is tiring.
Once again let me thank you for your friendly interest which has extended over so many years, and believe me, I am always glad to hear from you.Very sincerely yours, Willa Cather