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Nomination Process

Nominations are accepted for Honorary Degrees at Carleton College by the Honorary Degrees Committee.  The Committee typically selects candidates one and one-half years ahead of the date to receive the degree.  This is to allow time for scheduling on the recipients calendar (i.e., candidates brought to the committee in the fall of 2010 will receive their degree at Commencement of 2012).

The process follows this timeline:

  • Early spring term the President’s Office sends an all-campus e-mail soliciting Honorary Degree nominations.  The deadline for nominations is typically October 15.  Nominations may be sent to Joe Hargis' attention in the College Relations Office or via e-mail to  A letter of nomination with relevant background information is very important.  Any links to articles or information about the candidate is helpful to the Committee. You may also use the form listed on this website to make a nomination.
  • Early Fall Term the President's Office sends a reminder e-mail to all faculty, students, and staff regarding nominations.  Along with the e-mail, a reminder will be put in Carleton Weekly.
  • Following the October 15 deadline, the College Relations Office will compile information on all nominees.
  • Late October into early Winter break, the Honorary Degree committee will meet to review the candidates nominated and select those to bring forward to the faculty and trustees. 
  • Early January, the Honorary Degree committee brings their candidate recommendations to the first faculty meeting held during winter term.  The faculty vote to approve the candidates.
  • At the February Board of Trustees meeting, the individuals approved by the faculty are brought to the meeting for approval of the nominations.
  • Once the Board of Trustees has approved the Honorary Degree candidates, the President sends a formal invitation to the candidates inviting them to receive the Honorary Degree at Commencement.