Honorary Degrees

Recognizing Excellence

The policy on on awarding Honorary Degrees, Awards for Excellence, and Senior Fellow status is outlined below.

A. Purpose

To recognize outstanding achievement in letters, science, creative arts, one of the learned professions, business, communications, public or humanitarian service by the award of an Honorary Degree, an Award for Excellence or recognition as a Senior Fellow of Washington College, as may be appropriate.

B. Nomination Rules & Criteria

The Honors and Awards Committee is responsible for reviewing and considering the qualifications of persons nominated for an Honorary Degree, Award for Excellence, and Senior Fellow status of Washington College.

1. Rules

The Honorary Degree is awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to academia and greater society.

The Award for Excellence is reserved for those whose accomplishments distinguish them in a unique way, deserving special recognition.

Designation as a Senior Fellow of Washington College is designed to attract attention to those who have or seem likely to develop lasting ties to the Washington College community, particularly those who Washington College may invite to deliver public lectures and possibly confer informally with students and members of the Faculty.

2. Criteria

(a) The nominee is the creator of some original work of such character as to leave no doubt of the nominee’s learning, attainments, and literary and professional ability; or

(b) In addition to recognition for distinguished ability and learning, the nominee holds an honorable office in an institution of learning of good repute; or

(c) The nominee is a person of acknowledged eminence or distinction who has made a worthwhile and noteworthy contribution to society in one or more of the following categories: (1) letters, (2) science, (3) creative arts, (4) one of the learned professions, (5) business, (6) communications, or (7) public or humanitarian service deserving special recognition, and

(d) The nominee’s qualifications must always include distinguished service to society together with intellectual and moral qualities that entitle the nominee to rank with others of high culture and principle.

C. Procedures

To qualify as a recipient for any one of the honors and awards designated above the nominee must receive the affirmative vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the Board members present at the Board meeting at which the award is proposed for a final vote. The Board recognizes the wisdom of restricting, except under unusual circumstances, the number of honors and awards granted in any one college year, preferably to six or fewer Honorary Degrees, one Award for Excellence, and one Fellowship.

D. Prohibition on Fees and Honoraria

Under no circumstance shall an Honorary Degree, Award for Excellence, or Senior Fellow recipient receive a speaker fee.

E. Expiration of the Board’s Approval

Washington College may award an honorary degree to a candidate within five years of the Board’s approval. After that time, the Board must secure another approval for that candidate.


Honorary Degree Recipients

Katie Hood, Doctor of Public Service, Commencement

Henry Red Cloud, Doctor of Public Service, Washington's Birthday Convocation

Sylvia Acevedo, Doctor of Public Service, Commencement

Bryan K. Fair, D.L., Washington's Birthday Convocation

Leo Strine, D.L., Commencement

Frederick Douglass, D.L., awarded posthumously, Washington's Birthday Convocation

Kevin Jeffrey Martin, D.L, Commencement

Lonnie G. Bunch III, D.L., Washington's Birthday Convocation

Paul Reed Smith, D.P.S., Jones Seminar

Christine Lagarde, D.L,  Commencement

Arne Sorenson, D.L.,  Fall Convocation 

John A. Moag, Jr., L.L.D., Washington’s Birthday Convocation

Joseph Ellis, L.L.D. , Commencement 

David Rubenstein, D.L., Commencement

Bertie Ahern, L.L.D., Washington’s Birthday Convocation

Abujaber, Raouf, D.L. Commencement

David Mixner, D.P.S. Commencement

Henry M. Paulson, Jr. L.L.D.,  Inaugural Symposium

James N. Mattis, L.L.D.,  Washington’s Birthday Convocation       

Jo Ann Jenkins, D.H.L., Commencement 

Sir Richard John Dalton, L.L.D.                                    , Winter Program

Frank G. Wisner II, L.L.D., Winter Program

Louis J. Freeh, D.L., Washington's Birthday Convocation

Edward G. Rendell, D.L. Commencement

Raghavan Seetharaman, D.L. Commencement

James C. Rees IV, D.Letters, Commencement

Jane Rosenthal, D.F.A., Commencement

Carla Diane Hayden, D.Letters, Fall Convocation

Nabeel Abboud Ashkar, D.A., Fall Convocation

Ron Chernow, D.L. Washington's Birthday Convocation

Lawrence S. Eagleburger, L.L.D., Washington's Birthday Convocation

Marcia Invernizzi, D.L., Washington's Birthday Convocation

Frank Deford, D.L. Commencement

Takataka Yamada, M.D., D.Sc, Commencement

Robert L. Gallucci, D.L., Fall Convocation

Nancy S. Grasmick, D.P.S., Fall Convocation


Robert W. Duemling, L.L.D., Washington's Birthday Convocation

Louisa Copeland Duemling, D.H.L., Washington's  Birthday Convocation

Walter Isaacson, D.H.L. Washington's Birthday Convocation

Richard A. Meserve, D.S. Commencement

 John Harwood, D.L., Commencement

Steny H. Hoyer, L.L.D., Washington's Birthday Convocation

Andrew Kohut, D.L., Washington's Birthday Convocation

Holly H. Shimizu, D.S., Arbor Day

Diane Rehm, D.L., Commencement

Raymond Federman, D.L., Commencement

Mark Bramble, D.A., Fall Convocation

Linda Nochlin, D.F.A, Fall Convocation

Tom Paxton, D. Music, Fall Convocation

Birch R. Bayh, LL.D, Washington's Birthday Convocation

Taylor Branch, D.L., Commencement

Gloria Richardson, D.P.S, Washington's Birthday Convocation

B. Francis Saul II, LL.D., Jones Seminar in American Business

Bruce Cole, D.H.L., Commencement

Patty Griffin, D.F.A., Commencement

David Simon, D.L. Commencement