Nominations being sought for honorary degree recipients


The valuable contributions that people from outside the U-M community make to better the world are important to consider and to recognize.

That is why President Mark Schlissel is encouraging members of the university community to nominate worthy individuals for consideration by the university’s Honorary Degree Committee.

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“Conferring honorary degrees on distinguished individuals whose accomplishments resonate with the overarching mission of the University of Michigan is a point of pride for the university,” Schlissel says.

Nominations to be considered by the committee at its spring meeting should be received by 5 p.m. March 20.

Nominees may be eminent scholars, scientists, artists or professionals who have advanced their disciplines in important ways. Or, they may be individuals outside of the academic world who have made particularly distinguished contributions to society in areas such as public service, business, religion, government or the arts.

The Honorary Degree Committee, chaired by Janet Weiss, dean of the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, considers nominations. The Board of Regents appoints members representing the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, and students and alumni on the recommendation of the president. The president and several executive officers serve ex-officio. The committee forwards recommendations to the president and the Board of Regents.

John Godfrey, assistant dean of the Rackham Graduate School, works with the committee.

“By presenting an honorary degree, the university recognizes scholars, scientists, creative artists and professionals who have made truly exceptional contributions to knowledge, public service and the arts. At commencement, graduates are setting off on their careers. Recipients of honorary degrees represent the range of potential for excellence and accomplishment that lie before them,” he says.

Because it is tradition for commencement speakers to receive honorary degrees, the university also is interested in learning about nominees who would be appropriate to deliver the address at a future commencement.

“The university strives for a robust pool of honorees from all backgrounds and perspectives, and I especially encourage you to suggest distinguished women, members of minority groups, and other individuals with a connection to the University of Michigan whose accomplishments we may wish to celebrate,” Schlissel says.

Individuals with current appointments at the university are not eligible.


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