Honorary Degrees


Nomination Process

The Honorary Degree Committee, a subcommittee of the Senate Graduate Committee, is charged with the solicitation of nominations for honorary degree recipients. Each fall, on behalf of the Committee, the Office of the Secretary requests nominations for honorary degrees for "those persons who have contributed significantly to the cultural or scientific development of the Southwest, or to the spiritual or material welfare of its people. At the same time, due regard should be paid to eminent individuals and scholars whose contributions are of general significance and transcend geographic limitations." A successful nominee must have an exemplary record of academic or public accomplishment in keeping with the University's standards or rigor, quality and significance.

Nominators are requested to submit a letter stating in sufficient detail their reasons for the nominations. Materials should accompany the letters to include, but not limited to, biographical information, a record of accomplishment, and supporting letters from those who can speak to that record. Because the selection committee must choose between illustrious and notable nominees, please provide as complete a nomination as possible.

If a nominee is proposed by a person, department, or college representing a discipline other than that of the nominee (e.g., Music nominates a poet), the Committee will consult with the appropriate faculty before making a recommendation.

The nominations should be sent to the Office of the Secretary, Scholes Hall, Room 103, from

September 12, 2013 through October 18, 2013.

Policy for Awarding Honorary Degrees

The University of New Mexico wishes to recognize and thereby encourage individuals by awarding special honors to those persons who have contributed significantly to the cultural or scientific development of the Southwest, or to the spiritual or material welfare of its people. At the same time, due regard should be paid to eminent individuals and scholars whose contributions are of general significance and transcend geographic limitations. In no case should a passing courtesy to the University of New Mexico, such as the delivery of a commencement address, be the sole or principal cause for such honorary awards. The award of an honorary degree to a person seeking or holding a political office does not indicate endorsement by the University of New Mexico. Political involvement should not prevent selection of an individual for an honorary degree.

It is not the University's policy to award honorary degrees to active members of the faculty, staff, or administration. This does not preclude, in an exceptional case, the awarding of an honorary degree to an emeritus member of the faculty or to a former employee whose stature remains or becomes eminent in the years following active service with the University. In such exceptions, sufficient time shall have elapsed to ensure objectivity in the process of selection.

Honorary degrees will be awarded only upon the approval of the Regents, based on recommendations from the Honorary Degree Committee, whose membership is set out in the Faculty Handbook. The degrees are presented to recipients at the Spring Commencement ceremony.

Approved, Faculty 10/21/51
Approved, Regents 03/10/52
Amended, 12/17/63
Amended, 02/23/67
Amended, 1/14/69
Amended, 5/12/92
Amended and Approved, Regents 11/14/96

Honorary Degree Recipients