The 69-year-old was made a Doctor of the University of Stirling at a ceremony yesterday afternoon.
Addressing a crowd of new graduates who had just picked up their degrees, he spoke of the importance of retaining the values which Charlton and Busby stood for.
He said: "I've had many honours. I still appreciate what Stirling University has done for me today, making me a Doctor. I appreciate that, as do all my family. Don't take it lightly, it's a great honour to be appreciated.
"I say this standing here before you with many honours behind me. It doesn't change me. Don't change. No-one respects it.
"I've great examples of that in my own club. Bobby Charlton and Matt Busby were fantastic examples of that. Throughout their lives they kept their feet on the ground. They were the same people, they had humility. It's a fantastic quality to have.
"Working hard is also a fantastic quality. It's not easy to work hard all your life."
Ferguson also praised the "infectious enthusiasm" shown by another football legend, Sir Bobby Robson, throughout his life.
He said: "It got to you, you couldn't miss it. Don't ever under-estimate enthusiasm and enjoy working hard. It's a great quality. Wherever you go remember these things."