Thomas Edison and 11 presidents were among the 65 people honored this year by the University of Hard Knocks, which issues diplomas to successful people who never earned a college degree.

The mock university - founded 40 years ago by Jim Comstock, editor of The West Virginia Hillbilly newspaper - for the first time issued posthumous degrees.Edison, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were the top honorees, said Wayne Fugate, a reporter for the Hillbilly and a former graduate.

Those among the living who were honored came from as far away as Jakarta, Indonesia, to participate in Saturday's ceremony in Philippi, W. Va..

Former Sen. Jennings Randolph, D-W.Va. - a former graduate - presented diplomas to 45 honorees, including Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor of The Washington Times.

The commencement was held at Alderson-Broaddus College, but as Comstock - a Marshall University graduate - likes to say of his college of hard-earned knowledge, "The world is its campus."