Honorary Degrees Committee
Criteria for Awarding Honorary Degrees
- 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.
- The candidate, in character and conduct, shall have reflected the fundamental principles for which the College stands.
- 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.
- Consideration should be given to 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 among fields considered.
- 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. Connections with Carleton include being an alumnus or alumna, having served as a distinguished visiting professor at some point in the past, having delivered a significant lecture of series of lectures, etc.
- The committee shall have the freedom to propose to award, at most, one honorary degree each year to an individual of exceptional merit who does not have a Carleton connection.
- In the case of individuals of exceptional merit whose schedules invariably preclude their attendance at the Carleton Commencement, the committee may recommend awarding an 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 1987-88 committee might propose the granting of a degree to Ms. X, who will receive the degree at the Honors Convocation in May, 1989, at which she would also be the featured speaker).
Procedure for Awarding Honorary Degrees
- The responsibility of initiating a study of possible candidates for honorary degrees rests with the Committee on Honorary Degrees, which makes recommendations to the faculty as a whole. The recommendations are also presented to the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, which must approve them. Suggestions from trustees, faculty, and interested persons may be referred at any time to the President of the College for possible consideration by the committee.
- Nominations for honorary degrees should be presented with supporting data and be in the hands of the President of the College by the end of November for study by the members of the Honorary Degrees Committee. This committee should report its findings and recommendation to the faculty so that its recommendation can be presented to the trustees in February.
- No honorary degree will be awarded in absentia.
Approved by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, April 16, 1987.