Criteria for Awarding Honorary Degrees:

  • The candidate shall have achieved distinction in a field of honorable endeavor so that their name on the list of honorary alumni will reflect credit on Carleton.
  • The candidate, in character and conduct, shall have reflected the fundamental principles for which Carleton stands.
  • In order to preserve the high value of honorary degrees, the principle of granting not more than three or four degrees each year, except upon extraordinary occasions, should be maintained.
  • Consideration should be given to the candidates who have achieved eminence in scholarship or rendered distinguished service in their field of endeavor. Education, science, medicine, law, religion, human welfare, fine arts, business, and government service are fields considered.
  • In general Carleton does not give honorary degrees to people in public political life. Nor are honorary degrees given to financial benefactors of Carleton whose only claim on the college is their financial support.
  • In the case of individuals of exceptional merit whose schedules invariably preclude their attendance at the Carleton Commencement, the committee may have the option of recommending the awarding of an honorary degree at another major public occasion — such as the Opening Convocation, the Honors Convocation, or a specially scheduled event — that would fall at a time of the year when the individual would be able to come to campus. It is recognized that such cases may upon occasion also entail one year’s committee issuing an invitation for a degree to be granted during the following year (for instance, the 2019-20 committee might propose the granting of a degree to a candidate who would receive the degree at the Opening Convocation in September 2021, at which this person would also be the featured speaker).