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Policy Statement

The highest honor conferred by Marywood University on an individual is one of the following honorary degrees:

Doctor of Humane Letters (LHD)

Doctor of Science (DSc)

Doctor of Fine Arts (DFA)

The Board of Trustees reserves to itself the approval to confer an honorary degree on an individual.  It may be conferred at Commencement ceremony or at a special University convocation.  Consistent with Board of Trustees policy, the President of the University will consider recommendations from the Marywood community and seek approval of the Board for meritorious candidates for the honor.

A recipient will be

  • a person of national or international prominence, who has made a distinguished contribution in a chosen field, usually related to the mission of the University;
  • a person who would be a role model for students and faculty;
  • a person present at the Commencement ceremony or other convocation, who may or may not be the keynote speaker.

An honorary degree recognizes the achievements of a person, not an office or a position.

Honorary degrees will not be awarded posthumously.

Trustees, administrators, and faculty or staff members currently in service to Marywood University are not eligible for an honorary degree.  Former members of the University community must meet the same high standards for nomination as all other honorary degree candidates.


The University's Honorary Degrees Committee serves to provide direction to the Marywood community in the process of identifying potential honorees.

  • Any individual or group may submit the name of a person at any time to the Honorary Degrees Committee or directly to the President of the University.  The nomination consists of the name, address, other contact information, and a written statement setting forth the reasons why Marywood University should consider conferring an honorary degree on the person.


  • Names of successful nominees are usually submitted at least one or two years prior to the ceremony during which the honorary degree is conferred.


  • The President of the University or her delegate will collect biographical information about the potential honoree at an appropriate time.


  • The individual is not to be consulted beforehand, nor at any time prior to the President's formal announcement that an honorary degree will be conferred on the person. 


Confidentiality is expected during the process.  All deliberations, investigations, and recommendations relating to the process will be treated as strictly confidential by all persons involved.

Related Committees

Honorary Degrees Committee


10/29/09 - Approved by the President of the University as recommended by the Policy Committee of the University