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Call for Honorary Degree Nominations: November 1
September 25, 2007, Volume 54, No. 5

Dear Colleagues,

We invite you to nominate candidates to receive honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania at the 2008 Commencement ceremony.  Candidates should exemplify the highest ideals of the University, which seek to educate those who will change the world through innovative scholarship, scientific discovery, artistic creativity and/or societal leadership.

We encourage you to involve your faculty colleagues, within and across departments and schools, in the nomination process.  Nominations should explain how nominees meet the criteria for selection and outline the nominees’ achievements and contributions.   Please include as much biographical and other supporting information as possible, but do not contact the nominees, who should not know that they are being considered.  We particularly encourage nominations from departments and schools whose fields have not been recognized by the award of honorary degrees in recent years.  Please note that it is University policy not to consider Penn standing faculty, trustees, or school and center overseers for Penn honorary degrees.

Nominations are welcome any time, but for consideration by this year’s University Council Committee, it would be very helpful to have them in hand by November 1.  Review is ongoing and candidates may ultimately be selected several years after their initial nominations.  The University Council Committee’s recommendations are forwarded to the Trustee Committee on Honorary Degrees and Awards, which makes the final selection.  The list of previous University of Pennsylvania honorary degree recipients can be found at

Please send signed letters of nomination on your official stationery to:  University Council Committee on Honorary Degrees, c/o Office of the University Secretary, 211 College Hall/6303.  Nominations may also be faxed to (215) 898-0103.  If you have any questions, please contact Julie Sobel at or (215) 898-0414.

Penn emeritus faculty are eligible to receive honorary degrees through a special nomination process. University deans will propose candidates from their schools for consideration by the Council of Deans, which will forward successful nominations to the University Council Committee on Honorary Degrees.

Honorary degrees are important statements of Penn’s values and aspirations, and we strongly encourage your participation in this process.

—Amy Gutmann, President
—David Brownlee, Chair, University Council Committee on Honorary Degrees


Almanac - September 25, 2007, Volume 54, No. 5