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Office of the President

Honorary Degree

HISTORY: Honorary degrees were approved by the Board of Regents on December 19, 1958 to confer:
      doctor of commercial science (D.C.S.)
      doctor of fine arts (D.F.A.)
      doctor of laws (LL.D)
      doctor of science (Sc.D.)
      doctor of civil law (D.C.L.)
      doctor of divinity (D.D.)
      doctor of letters (Litt..D.)
      doctor of music (Mus.D.)
      doctor of pedagogy (Pd. D.)
      doctor of sacred theology (S.T.D.)
      doctor of humane letters (L.H.D.)
      doctor of Hebrew letters (D.H.Litt)
      doctor of Jewish theology (D.J.T.)

The honorary degree shall be the Institute’s highest award. RIT will award honorary degrees sparingly. Members of the paid academic or nonacademic professional staff are not eligible. Ordinarily, an honorary degree would not be conferred on an active trustee. A candidate should meet two or more of the following:

  • Has achieved national recognition.
  • Has made an outstanding contribution to society, either through personal or professional accomplishments.
  • Has made a significant contribution to his/her professional field.
  • Has had a significant impact on the development and advancement of RIT.
  • Has achieved distinction in the public service, through elective or appointed office.

Additional details are outlined in the RIT Personnel Policies Manual,Section D14.0


CONFERRED BY: RIT Board of Trustees
PROCESS: 1. Members of the Board, faculty, staff, and administration may
submit nominations for consideration to the Faculty Honorary
Degree Committee, which is chaired by the Provost.

2. The Faculty Honorary Degree Committee forwards its recommendations on all nominees to the President. The President may reject a recommendation or support it. The President’s recommendations for granting honorary degrees will be forwarded to the University Relations Committee of the Board of Trustees. All recommendations supported by the University Relations Committee will be forwarded to the full Board of Trustees.

3. Approval is required by the full Board of Trustees.

4. The candidate must be present in person, normally on the RIT campus, to receive the degree.

AWARD: Honorary Degree Diploma
Framed Citation
William S. Vaughn, LL.D.
Jack St. Clair Kilby, Sc.D.
Gordon B. Parks, D.F.A.
Silvio Conte, Sc.D.
Richard Silverman, L.H.D.
Albert Rose, Sc.D.
Alfonse D'Amato, Sc.D.
Frank Horton, L.H.D.
Vaclav Klaus, LL.D.
Robert Davila, L.H.D.
Henriette Avram, L.H.D.
Jehan El-Sadat, L.H.D.
Joseph M. Juran, Sc.D.
Genji Murai, D.C.S.
Mervin D. Garretson, L.H.D.
Douglass C. North, L.H.D
Burton S. August, L.H.D.
Gertrude B. Elion, L.H.D.
Rosalyn Yalow, L.H.D.
James C. Marsters, L.H.D.
Thomas H. Gosnell, L.H.D.
George H. Bush, L.H.D.
Chozemon Ohi, L.H.D.
Mary McAleese, L.H.D.
William A. Johnson, L.H.D.
E. Kent Damon, L.H.D.
Lucius R. Gordon, L.H.D.
Norman Jewison, L.H.D.
George J. Tenet, Sc.D.
Massimo Vignelli, D.F.A.
October 19, 1968
July 11, 1986
May 11, 1989
May 17, 1989
May 19, 1989
October 28, 1989
October 28, 1989
May 18, 1990
February 18, 1991
May 24, 1991
November 14, 1991
May 22, 1992
June 9, 1992
May 22, 1993
November 12, 1993
May 16, 1995
May 20, 1995
May 3, 1996
May 3, 1996
May 24, 1996
May 24, 1996
May 22, 1997
September 30, 1997
May 7, 1999
May 22, 1999
September 1, 1999
September 1, 1999
May 19, 2000
May 24, 2002
TBA November 2002
March 2003