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UK Graduate School accepting nominations for honorary doctoral degrees

Nikky Finney is presented with an honorary degree at the December 2022 Commencement Ceremony
Nikky Finney is presented with an honorary degree at the December 2022 Commencement Ceremony. Nominations for December 2023 honorary degree candidates are due Thursday, March 9. Arden Barnes | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2023) — The University Joint Committee on Honorary Degrees (UJCHD) is currently seeking nomination packages for candidates of honorary doctoral degrees to be awarded at a future university commencement. The deadline to be considered for commencement ceremonies in December 2023 is Thursday, March 9.

Nominations may be made by faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the University of Kentucky. The selection committee will follow the criteria, principles and guidelines approved by the University Senate and Board of Trustees. 

The nomination package must include a primary letter of nomination, at least two letters of support and the nominee’s bio (or resume or CV). 

The titles and definitions of honorary degrees are listed below: 

  • Honorary Doctor of Arts — To recognize extraordinary accomplishments in the creative arts, fine arts, performing arts or related fields. 
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws — To recognize extraordinary accomplishments in law, politics, governance, diplomacy or related fields. 
  • Honorary Doctor of Science — To recognize extraordinary accomplishments in scientific fields. 
  • Honorary Doctor of Engineering — To recognize extraordinary accomplishments in engineering, design, technology or related fields. 
  • Honorary Doctor of Humanities — To recognize extraordinary accomplishments in the humanities. 
  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters — To recognize extraordinary contributions to philanthropy, human development, education or societal well-being. 

An honorary doctorate pays tribute to those whose life and work exemplify professional, intellectual or artistic achievement by recognizing and appreciating those who have made significant contributions to society, the state and the University of Kentucky. 

For complete criteria and directions on the nomination process, please visit The Graduate School’s Honorary Doctoral Degrees webpage

The list of previous honorary degrees awarded, dating back to 1886, can be viewed here.

If you have any questions, please contact Morris Grubbs, assistant dean of The Graduate School:

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