Call for honorary degree nominations

It’s time again for members of the Washington University in St. Louis community to nominate honorary degree candidates for the May 2023 Commencement.

The Honorary Degree Task Force of the Board of Trustees is accepting nominations until Feb. 1. To nominate distinguished individuals, visit the Board of Trustees website.

Students, faculty, administrators and trustees make up the task force. This year, students helped drive a social media effort to encourage fellow students and alumni to get involved and suggest worthwhile individuals to honor.

The university has a long tradition, dating to 1859, of awarding honorary degrees to individuals who have made significant contributions.

The impressive and diverse list of past recipients includes pioneers and leaders in their respective fields. Just a few among them are politicians Madeleine Albright and Cory Booker, filmmaker Ken Burns, civil rights activist John Lewis and feminist and author Gloria Steinem.

When considering nominees, the task force will be looking for individuals who have made significant contributions through their scholarly accomplishments, professional achievements and/or humanitarian service and impact on society.

Other criteria for strong candidates include individuals who have provided outstanding service to Washington University and the St. Louis community as well as those who would bring a heightened level of interest and excitement to the Commencement exercises. The task force is particularly interested in nominations of individuals from diverse backgrounds.

Nominations for the Commencement speaker also are considered through this honorary degree selection process.

The task force will meet in March to consider nominations before submitting a potential list of recipients to the full board. The Board of Trustees will select the final candidates for honorary degrees by vote at their meeting later in the spring.

Leave a Comment

Comments and respectful dialogue are encouraged, but content will be moderated. Please, no personal attacks, obscenity or profanity, selling of commercial products, or endorsements of political candidates or positions. We reserve the right to remove any inappropriate comments. We also cannot address individual medical concerns or provide medical advice in this forum.