In a speech to students at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Trump talked of how he almost abandoned plans for a luxury golf resort in the area after a local council vetoed the project, The Scotsman reported.
"There were a lot of people -- hundreds of people who lived in the area -- who wrote to me and said please don't stop, please, please don't give up," he said. "And I made the decision to continue to go forward."
Sir Ian Wood, the university's chancellor, presented the degree to Trump. The doctorate in business administration, the first Trump has received, was for his "business acumen and entrepreneurial vision."
The degree was controversial in some circles. David Kennedy, the university's principal from 1987 to 1997, returned his own honorary doctorate in protest, the BBC reported.
Trump remarked that he had been warned to expect a large demonstration and saw none, The Scotsman reported. He waved at 20 people holding up signs as his convoy of sport utility vehicles passed them on the way out.