The Honorary Degrees Committee, which reports to the Senate, the President, and the Board of Trustees, is charged with developing a slate of candidates representing the highest values and breadth of commitment of the university.
The criteria for awarding an Emory honorary degree are:
- achievement of the highest distinction in a field of scholarship, the arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, health, business, law, and all the professions, or in public service;
- compelling reasons why it would be particularly fitting for Emory University to honor the nominee; and
- appropriateness for recognition at commencement before an audience of undergraduate, graduate and professional students, faculty and families.
The committee encourages the nomination of individuals who reflect the full breadth of Emory’s scholarship and intellectual pursuits and are from diverse demographic backgrounds. Except in extraordinary circumstances, persons who have spent the greatest part of their careers as members of the Emory faculty or administration, current students, or those serving in elective or appointed office at the time of nomination are not considered. The committee will, however, receive with interest nominations of persons otherwise associated with Emory such as alumni, distinguished visiting faculty, benefactors, and others. Generally, the committee will not consider nominations for honorary degrees to be awarded posthumously or in absentia.