Main content
Take Note
Nominations sought for honorary degrees

Members of the Emory community have until Nov. 1 to submit nominations for honorary degree recipients for the 2016 Commencement and beyond.

Honorary degrees are presented during Commencement to individuals who have reached the highest level in their field while also "demonstrating a transformational impact" and "work consistent with Emory's values."

"In considering whether a nomination reflects Emory's mission and values, you may wish to consider some important themes that reflect the university's priorities or strategic direction," the Honorary Degree Committee notes in its call for nominees.

The committee lists some particularly relevant themes to consider in nominations, including:

  • exploring the human spirit
  • improving the human condition
  • engaging society
  • fostering sustainability
  • new frontiers in science and medicine
  • transformational art
  • creative philanthropy

Nominees from diverse demographic backgrounds are sought, while "except under extraordinary circumstances," honorary degrees are not typically awarded to current elected officials or those who have spend most of their careers as Emory faculty or administrators.

Students, staff, faculty, alumni and trustees can submit nominations in three formats:

  • Using the online submission form
  • By emailing a letter and supporting documents to
  • By mailing a letter and supporting documents to Honorary Degree Nominations, Emory University, Office of the Vice President and Secretary of the University, Administration Building 407, Mail Stop #1000/001/1AN, Atlanta, GA 30322

Regardless of format, each nomination should include the nominee's achievements, why an honorary degree from Emory would have special significance to the nominee, and whether the award would have particular meaning to graduating students.

Nominations that are submitted will be considered annually for five years. Previous honorary degree recipients are listed here.

Recent News