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Honorary Degree Criteria

Criteria for Awarding Honorary Degrees:

  1. The candidate shall have achieved distinction in a field of honorable endeavor so that his/her name on the list of honorary alumni will reflect credit on the College.
  2. The candidate, in character and conduct, shall have reflected the fundamental principles for which the College stands.
  3. In order to preserve the high value of honorary degrees, the principle of granting not more than three or four degrees each year, except upon extraordinary occasions, should be maintained.
  4. Consideration should be given to the candidates who have achieved eminence in scholarship or rendered distinguished service in their field of endeavor.  Education, science, medicine, law, religion, human welfare, fine arts, business, and government service are fields considered.
  5. In general we do not give honorary degrees to people in public political life.  Nor do we give honorary degrees to financial benefactors of the College whose only claim on us is their financial support.
  6. In the case of individuals of exceptional merit whose schedules invariably preclude their attendance at the Carleton Commencement, the committee may have the option of recommending the awarding of on honorary degree at another major public occasion—e.g., Opening Convocation or Honors Convocation or a specially scheduled event—that would fall at a time of the year when the individual would be able to come to campus.  It is recognized that such cases may upon occasion also entail one year’s committee issuing an invitation for a degree to be granted during the following year (e.g., the 2012-13 committee might propose the granting of a degree to Ms. X. who will receive the degree at the Honors Convocation in May, 2014, at which she would also be the featured speaker).