Honorary degree nominations sought

It’s time for members of the Washington University in St. Louis community to nominate honorary degree candidates for the May 2025 Commencement.

The Honorary Degree Review Committee is accepting nominations until Sept. 25. To nominate distinguished individuals, visit the Board of Trustees website.

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, award-winning actor Sterling K. Brown, infectious disease expert Anthony S. Fauci, MD, civil rights activist John Lewis and feminist and author Gloria Steinem.

When considering nominees, the committee 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 review committee 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 committee will meet in October 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 in December.