John Lewis Honorary Degree Recipient


Members of the University of Vermont community are invited to submit nominations of potential honorary degree recipients for consideration by the Honorary Degree Advisory Committee. The committee, appointed by the president, identifies those candidates who best meet the established criteria and provides recommendations to the president. Honorary degrees are awarded at the May commencement ceremony.

Commencement Speakers are selected by the president, who may consult with the Honorary Degree Advisory Committee. Speakers may receive an honorary degree.

For further information regarding this process, please view the University Operating Procedure for Honorary Degrees and Commencement Speaker.


To be eligible for consideration for the award of an Honorary Degree, a nominee must be recognized as accomplished in at least one of three areas:

  • Outstanding achievement or service for the benefit of the University of Vermont
  • Outstanding achievement or service for the benefit of the State of Vermont
  • Outstanding achievement or service in the nation or the world

Of particular importance is to identify Honorary Degree candidates who have achieved distinction in endeavors aligned with institutional goals and strategic priorities.

Additional considerations include:

  • Sustained and dedicated commitment to public life and service
  • Significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge
  • Significant contribution to the University’s ability to achieve its mission

Honorary degrees may not be given to current faculty, staff, members of the Board of Trustees, or current holders of political office. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the President.

Nomination Information

*Note: The University of Vermont only awards one Honorary Degree in a recipient's lifetime. In order to determine if your nominee was a past recipient, please review the Past Honorary Degree Recipients List (PDF).

The 2024 nomination process has been designed to allow time to make arrangements and give notice as appropriate. The deadline for nominations is Sunday, April 30, 2023.

You may make a nomination using this form.

Nominations must be complete in order to be considered. It is imperative that nominations are kept confidential. Nominees selected for the 2024 Commencement Ceremony will be announced by the President in March 2023. The Honorary Degree Advisory Committee may consider nominees in following years without resubmission.

Recommendations for commencement speaker may be sent via email to Jonathan D’Amore, Special Assistant to the President, at


For more information, please contact Special Assistant to the President Jonathan D'Amore:

Phone: 802-656-7855