Marquette confers a limited number of honorary degrees annually, usually in conjunction with Commencement in May. The individuals are selected through a nomination process that is open to all members of the university community.
Nominations for honorary degrees should fall in at least one of the following three categories:
1. High profile individuals who could serve as the commencement speaker;
2. Individuals who have distinguished themselves as an academic and/or intellectual; and,
3. Individuals who have distinguished themselves in public and/or community service to our community and/or our larger society.
In all cases there should be an appropriateness of the nominees to the mission of Marquette. Since honorary degrees are not awarded in absentia or posthumously, it is also helpful to know that if an invitation is offered, this nominee will be likely to accept. Nominees who are alumni/alumnae of Marquette and/or have a connection to the university are more likely to be invited to accept an honorary degree.
The Committee on University Honors is an advisory body that generates, discusses, and reviews nominations regarding honorary degrees and provides counsel to the provost and president. The committee is comprised of faculty, student, staff, and alumni representatives. All honorary degrees must be approved by the Board of Trustees.
Members of the Marquette community are invited to submit nominations in writing to Mark Johnson, associate professor of theology and chair of the Committee on University Honors. Nominations should briefly explain why it would be appropriate to honor this particular person. A nomination should include basic biographical information, a short account of the individual’s principal accomplishments, and a brief and clear rationale for recognition by Marquette.
The committee considers nominees in each of the three categories described above.