19:28 PM

Call for Nominations for Honorary Degree Recipients

TO: Faculty and staff

FROM: Honorary Degree Committee: Jessica Berger (chair), Carl Kemnitz, Yvonne Nalani Meulemans and Patricia Prado-Olmos

After receiving a formal call from the Chancellor’s Office, President Neufeldt has asked the Honorary Degree Committee to begin the nomination process on our campus. The president has asked the committee to solicit nominations from the campus community of individuals who might be considered for this honor. She may forward up to two nominees annually for the honorary degree.  

Submission Criteria

  • For your submission to be considered, send your nominations to Vice President Jessica Berger by noon on Friday, Nov. 12, including the following information:
  • Cover letter, including:
    • The name of the person you are nominating.
    • The person’s contact information, including a phone number and an email address.
    • A brief narrative (300-400 words) describing the achievements for which they should be honored, as well as how they are connected to the campus.
    • The degree for which the individual is being nominated.
  • Résumé (CV) of the person you are nominating
    • If you nominated someone in the past, you may resubmit their name for consideration again this year. 

Below are the purpose and criteria for honorary degrees, copied from the California State University policy. The full policy and criteria is located at:


Criteria for the Awarding of Honorary Degrees

Honorary degrees may be awarded to recognize achievements in all parts of the world. Honorary degrees awarded should represent an appropriate balance between local and non-local, and academic and non-academic recipients, and should represent a wide diversity of fields of endeavor.

Service or benefaction to the university do not alone justify the awarding of honorary degrees. However, these criteria do not preclude nominees who are benefactors of the California State University. Personal relationships alone do not justify the awarding of honorary degrees.

Nominees for honorary degrees must demonstrate high moral character, be distinguished in their respective fields and the eminence of persons nominated must be widely recognized. Nominees must have demonstrated intellectual and humane values that are consistent with the ideals of the California State University, the aims of higher education and with the highest ideals of the person’s chosen fields.

The following are the criteria for awarding CSU honorary degrees:

  • To recognize inspirational character, excellence and extraordinary achievement in significant areas of human endeavor that reflect the objectives and ideals of the California State University.
  • To honor meritorious and outstanding service to the California State University collectively or to individual campuses, the State of California, the United States, or to humanity at large.
  • To recognize individuals whose lives, conduct and significant achievements serve as examples of the California State University’s aspirations for its diverse student body.
  • The honoree must be present at the appropriate California State University function to accept the degree; or in case of the honoree's severe illness, a family member must be present at the appropriate function to accept the degree.
  • A family member must agree to accept a posthumous degree at an appropriate California State University function.

Limitations on Eligibility 

Honorary degrees shall not be awarded to:

  • Incumbent members of the Board of Trustees of the California State University;
  • The incumbent chancellor of the California State University;
  • Incumbent campus presidents of the California State University;
  • A person who already has been awarded an honorary degree by the California State University (a list is available online);
  • All incumbent elected officials; and
  • Honorary degrees shall not be awarded solely on the basis of past or present employment by the California State University.
  • Current faculty and staff, as well as members of their immediate family, are ineligible to receive an honorary degree.