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Office of the Vice President for Administration

Honorary Degree nominations are accepted throughout the year. You are invited to send your nomination to Tom Poole at


Sustained achievement and distinction of national or international significance in an activity consonant with the mission of the University is the principal criterion for an honorary degree.

The nomination of some individuals whose achievements and distinction have not been similarly recognized is encouraged.

Alumni of the University are eligible for the degree in addition to other awards that exist for the purpose of recognizing alumni services and contributions to the University.

Persons serving as administrators, faculty, or staff of The Pennsylvania State University are not eligible, nor are persons currently serving as members of the Board of Trustees, as officials of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its subordinate units or members of the Legislature, during their terms of office; nor are spouses or immediate family members of the foregoing persons eligible.

Honorary Degrees Awarded (1995 to present)

  • 1995
  • Paul Berg, Science
  • Edward O. Wilson, Humane Letters
  • 1996
  • John Barth, Humane Letters
  • Edward Lorenz, Science
  • 1997
  • John Biggers, Fine Arts in Absentia
  • William Richardson, Humane Letters
  • 1998
  • Michael E. DeBakey, Science
  • Howard Gardner, Humane Letters
  • Paul C. Glick, Humane Letters
  • 1999
  • Albert Bandura, Humane Letters
  • John Hope Franklin, Humane Letters
  • Gilbert Grosvenor, Humane Letters
  • Leon Max Lederman, Science
  • George Mitchell, Humane Letters
  • Robert Thompson, Science
  • 2000
  • Jane Alexander, Fine Arts
  • Urie Bronfenbrenner, Humane Letters
  • Uta Hagen, Fine Arts
  • Raul Hilberg, Humane Letters
  • William "Billy" Taylor, Jr., Fine Arts
  • Nina Totenberg, Humane Letters
  • 2001
  • Leroy Hood, Science
  • Kazuo Inamori, Science
  • Stanley Pruisner, Science
  • Henry Schacht, Humane Letters
  • Arthur Schlesinger, Humane Letters
  • Alan Schriesheim, Science
  • 2002
  • Morris Dees, Humane Letters
  • Aldo Parisot, Fine Arts
  • Alan Wilson, Science
  • 2003
  • Bernard Bailyn, Humane Letters
  • Glen Elder, Humane Letters
  • Vartan Gregorian, Humane Letters
  • Jonathan Kozol, Humane Letters
  • 2004
  • John Bogle, Humane Letters
  • Wallace Broecker, Science
  • Rita Colwell, Science
  • Helene Gayle, Science
  • Vernon Jordan, Humane Letters
  • Jody Williams, Humane Letters
  • 2005
  • Robert S. Langer, Science
  • John "Bill" Marriott, Humane Letters
  • 2006
  • Peter Magrath, Humane Letters
  • John Carroll, Humane Letters
  • Robert Horvitz, Science
  • John "Jack" Horner, Science
  • 2007
  • Anthony Fauci, Science
  • Luo Shiming, Science
  • Anna Quindlen, Humane Letters
  • Frederick Smith, Humane Letters
  • Charles Sanders, Science
  • 2008
  • William Friedkin, Fine Arts
  • J. Stuart Hunter, Science
  • Sherry Lansing, Humane Letters
  • Phillip Sharp, Science
  • Lee Shulman, Humane Letters
  • Frederick Smith, Humane Letters
  • 2009
  • George Koob, Science
  • Shelly Lazarus, Humane Letters
  • 2010
  • Peter Agre, Science
  • Norman Augustine, Science
  • Ken Burns, Humane Letters
  • Indra Nooyi, Humane Letters
  • Ron Suskind, Humane Letters
  • 2011
  • Wolf Blitzer, Humane Letters
  • Ronald Ehrenberg, Humane Letters
  • Linda Greenhouse, Doctor of Laws
  • Gary Orfield, Humane Letters
  • 2012
  • Steven Chu, Doctor of Science
  • Howard Buffett, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Mildred Dresselhaus, Doctor of Science