Honorary Degree

3670.1 Guidelines for Awarding Honorary Degrees

  1. The awarding of honorary degrees should be regarded as a method by which Wright State University expresses its highest ideals and acknowledges exceptional accomplishments.
  2. An honorary degree should be awarded for genuine accomplishments and it should not be based upon financial or political considerations; however, it should give special consideration to those who have made contributions to Wright State.
  3. An honorary degree should be awarded to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to humanity in any field of endeavor.
  4. The individual who receives an honorary degree should exemplify the goals and philosophy of the University.
  5. Trustees, faculty, staff and alumni must have two years of disassociation with the University before they will qualify to receive an honorary degree.
  6. The granting of an honorary degree is not restricted to an individual who is well known but includes a person who had made an outstanding contribution even though he/she may be known to relatively few.
  7. Honorary degrees should acknowledge achievements nationally or internationally, keeping an equitable balance between local and non-local, and academic and non-academic recipients in a broad variety of areas.
  8. Except in extreme or extenuating circumstances, honorary degrees should not be given in absentia.

3670.2 Procedures for Honorary Degree Nominations

Nominations for honorary degrees will be considered by a Commencement Committee, as described in Section 3670.3 below. The procedure for nominating a candidate for an honorary degree is as follows.

  1. A request to present a nomination to the committee must precede any nomination. The committee will review the request and determine if a nomination should be reviewed for further consideration. Approval of a request to nominate requires a majority of the committee but does not indicate approval of a subsequent nomination.

    A request must be submitted by the 2nd Monday in October for both commencements in the subsequent calendar year. It may be submitted by anyone affiliated with Wright State University (faculty, staff, students, trustees, or alumni) and should consist of a brief letter outlining the contributions of the potential nominee.

    The request should remain as confidential as possible. The potential nominee should not be notified of the request, and there should be no attempt to solicit external support for the request.

  2. Nominations may be submitted after a request to nominate has been approved. The deadline for submission of all nominating materials, for both Spring and Fall Commencements is the last Friday of November.
  3. Nominations may be made by anyone affiliated with Wright State University (faculty, staff, students, trustees, or alumni).
  4. Nominations must include:
    • A narrative letter, in non-technical language, setting forth the reasons for the nomination.
    • A full resume of the nominee, including accomplishments, honors, education and experience.
    • A minimum of three (3) letters supporting the nomination from persons knowledgeable about the nominee's contributions.
  5. A majority vote of the full membership of the committee is necessary to approve a nominee for an honorary degree; that is, five (5) votes will be required for approval.
  6. The deliberations of the committee regarding nominees should be strictly confidential.
  7. Nominations receiving favorable consideration by the committee will be recommended to the President of the University, who may subsequently recommend them to the Board of Trustees for further consideration and final approval.

3670.3 Commencement Committee Membership and Purpose

The Commencement Committee will consist of nine (9) members: six (6) faculty representatives who are appointed by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate and three (3) student members who are appointed from among the elected student representatives of the Student Government.  A quorum for this Committee shall be three (3) faculty members and one (1) student member.

The terms of Commencement Committee members will be as follows:

  • Six faculty members will be appointed for staggered three year terms.
  • Three (3) students will serve a one (1) year term.

No faculty member may serve more than two (2) consecutive terms.

The chair of the Commencement Committee will be appointed from among the six faculty members by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate.

One member of the Commencement Committee will serve as an ex-officio member of a Commencement Implementation Committee, which is convened, as necessary, by the University Director of Ceremonies.  A representative of the Commencement Implementation Committee will also be invited to serve as an ex-officio non-voting member of the Commencement Committee.

The Faculty Senate is responsible for oversight of all academic components of Commencement Ceremonies.  The Commencement Committee provides Faculty input regarding Commencement Ceremonies and makes Honorary Degree recommendations to the University President.