Prizes, Premiums, and Honors

Complete details concerning endowed funds from which prizes and premiums are paid and special conditions which must be taken into consideration in making awards may be obtained from the Office of the Dean of the College.

The University reserves the right to withhold any award for any reason it deems valid.

Prizes for Excellence in Preparatory Studies

Prizes for excellence in certain preparatory studies are awarded each year during the first semester to members of the entering class on the basis of special examinations as described below. Examinations separately judged with separate awards but covering the same material are conducted simultaneously for both men and women.

The competitions in Greek, Latin, and Mathematics are open to all freshmen. However, those in the French, German and Spanish languages, respectively, are open only to those freshmen whose knowledge of the language concerned has been gained through secondary school studies rather than from family or community contacts.

THE PRESIDENT FRANCIS WAYLAND PRIZES, derived from the income of a fund presented in 1843 by President Wayland, and later increased, are awarded each year to those members of the freshman class who upon examination are found to excel in preparatory Greek and Latin.

THE HARTSHORN PRIZES IN MATHEMATICS, derived from the income of a fund presented to the University in 1872 by Joseph Charles Hartshorn of the class of 1841, are awarded each year to the two members of the freshman class who are found to excel in an examination on elementary algebra (through quadratic equations and the binomial theorem) and plane geometry.

THE HYPATIA PRIZES IN MATHEMATICS, derived from the income of a fund named for Hypatia of Alexandria, and presented anonymously in 1951, parallel for women freshmen the Hartshorn prizes for men.

THE ALBERT BUSHNELL JOHNSON PRIZES IN FRENCH are derived from part of the income of the Albert Bushnell Johnson Fund bequeathed to the University in 1949 by Edward K. Aldrich, Jr. and are awarded each year to the two members of the freshman class who are found to excel in preparatory French.

THE CAESAR MISCH PRIZES IN GERMAN, established in 1913 by a gift of Mrs. Marion L. Misch, are awarded to the two members of the freshman class who are found to excel in preparatory German.

THE ASA CLINTON CROWELL PRIZES IN GERMAN, derived from the income of a fund established in 1928 by alumnae of the University, are awarded to the two women members of the freshman class who are found to excel in preparatory German.

THE LOPE DE VEGA PRIZES IN SPANISH, established in 1962 by anonymous gift, are awarded to two men of the freshman class who are found to excel in preparatory work in Spanish.

THE GABRIELA MISTRAL PRIZES IN SPANISH, established in 1962 by anonymous gift, are awarded to two women of the freshman class who are found to excel in preparatory work in Spanish.

Prizes and Premiums for Excellence in Undergraduate Studies

THE KIM ANN ARSTARK MEMORIAL AWARD IN POETRY is derived from a fund established in 1971 by Mr. and Mrs. Lester D. Arstark in memory of their daughter. It is awarded annually for a poem or poems “in celebration of life.”

THE DEREK CANFIELD BARKER PRIZE was established in 1994 through a gift from Richard C. Barker ’57 and Abbie D. Paterson ’57 in memory of their son, Derek. The purpose of this prize is to recognize students who have shown qualities of leadership, who have triumphed over adversity, and who have worked to bring the Brown community together through community service.

THE ALBERT ARNOLD BENNETT, CLASS OF 1872, AWARD FUND was established by an anonymous donor through several gifts made between 1941 and 1949. The fund is in memory of the Reverend Albert A. Bennett, D.D., pioneer missionary to Japan, and is available annually for award purposes, but not continuously for any one object.

THE PHILO SHERMAN BENNETT PRIZE was established in 1904 by Philo Sherman Bennett for the “best essay discussing the principles of free government.”

THE HONORABLE THOMAS WILLIAMS BICKNELL MEMORIAL AWARD was established in 1963 by the National Society of Sons and Daughters of the Pilgrims as a memorial to Thomas Williams Bicknell. The prize is awarded for an essay in American history.

THE BRAND MUSICAL PREMIUM is derived from a fund established in 1960 by William C. H. Brand as a memorial to William and Mina R. Brand and is divided equally between two seniors of Brown University, one man and one woman, on the basis of merit.

THE TRISTAM BURGES PREMIUM IN ENGLISH, instituted in 1953, is given at the end of the junior year to the woman student “with the highest standing in rhetoric, English composition, and public speaking.”

THE BUXTEHUDE PREMIUM FOR MUSICAL EXCELLENCE was established by a gift from an anonymous donor to provide annual premiums for one or more undergraduates in the junior year.

THE THOMAS CARPENTER PRIZES FOR ELOCUTION, derived from the income of a fund established in 1867 by Thomas Carpenter, are awarded each year to the three students to whom are assigned the first, the second, and the third rank of excellence in elocution.

THE THOMAS CARPENTER AND LYDIA CARPENTER PREMIUMS were established in 1869 by Lydia Carpenter, on behalf of her late brother. They are assigned at the end of the academic year to the two members of the senior class who, “already on scholarships, shall, in the judgment of the faculty, unite in the highest degree the three most important elements of success in life—ability, character, and attainment.”

THE HOPE CHATTERTON PRIZE IN MUSIC, to memorialize Hope Chatterton, was instituted in 1946, by anonymous donation. A prize is given in the spring to a woman student who in public audition is deemed to excel in piano performance.

LEALLYN B. CLAPP PRIZE for an outstanding undergraduate thesis in chemistry. The prize honors Professor Clapp, who retired in 1983 after a long and distinguished career in the Brown chemistry department.

THE CLASS OF 1873 PRIZES are derived from the income of a fund presented in 1877 by the class of 1873 and are awarded each year to seniors for essays on such topic(s) as the “faculty may, from time to time, deem most expedient.”

THE CLASS OF 1906 MEMORIAL PREMIUM was established in 1956 by the will of Harry Knowles, Brown 1906. Currently the premium is awarded to a student who has completed with highest distinction the honors program in Russian studies.

THE CLASS OF 1952 PREMIUM is derived from the income of a fund established in 1952 by the Class of 1952, at the College. It is awarded annually to an outstanding student at the end of his or her junior year, on the basis of excellence in scholastic achievement and extracurricular activity.

THE CLARKSON A. COLLINS, JR., PRIZE IN AMERICAN HISTORY is derived from the income of a fund given to Brown University in 1941 by Letta I. Collins in memory of her son. An annual prize is offered for the best paper on any approved topic dealing with the American Merchant Marine or Navy. Competition is restricted to men in the junior or senior class.

THE RUTH ELECTA COLLINS PREMIUM IN FRENCH is derived from the income of a fund established in 1936 by Mrs. Clarkson Abel Collins in memory of her daughter Ruth Electa Collins. It is awarded annually to a male senior, distinguished for outstanding work in French.

THE CURT JOHN DUCASSE PREMIUM IN METAPHYSICS is paid from income of a fund established anonymously in 1958. The premium is awarded to a freshman, sophomore, or junior who excels in metaphysics and related subjects.

THE ROBINSON POTTER DUNN PREMIUM. The income of a premium scholarship fund presented to the University in 1872 by pupils and friends of Professor Robinson Potter Dunn is given, at the end of the junior year, to the student “with the highest standing in rhetoric, English composition, and public speaking.”

THE ADOLPH CONRAD ELY PREMIUM IN GERMAN is derived from a fund bequeathed in 1941 to Brown University by Adolph Conrad Ely, teacher, of the class of 1894. A premium is awarded annually to the senior with highest standing in Germanic languages and literature.

THE BETH LISA FELDMAN PRIZE IN ENGLISH COMPOSITION is derived from a fund established in 1966 by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Feldman. This competition is open to all students of the University. Preference is given to the writing of stories for children.

THE WILLIAM LEOPOLD FICHTER PREMIUM IN SPANISH was established in 1962 by anonymous gift. The premium is awarded to a member of the junior class who has the highest standing in courses in Spanish language and literature.

THE IRVING LYSANDER FOSTER PREMIUM IN FRENCH is awarded from the income of a fund established in 1940 by Warren Woden Foster and Hatie Foster Moore in memory of their father, Irving Lysander Foster, of the class of 1893. The premium is awarded at the end of the academic year to that freshman who excels in French.

THE LAFAYETTE SABINE FOSTER PRIZE IN GREEK is derived from the income of a fund bequeathed in 1880 by the Hon. Lafayette Sabine Foster, of the class of 1828. This income is to be paid annually “to that scholar of the institution who passes the best examination in the Greek language, the examination to be made in the first, third, sixth, and twenty-fourth books of Homer’s Iliad, or in the Oration on the Crown by Demosthenes.”

THE GASPEE CHAPTER DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION PRIZE. This prize, instituted in 1895, is now paid from the income of a fund presented to Brown University in 1899. The prize is awarded annually to that woman student who presents the best paper written as a class assignment in an American history course.

THE WILLIAM GASTON PREMIUM SCHOLARSHIP is provided by the income of a fund established in 1899 by the widow and the children of the Hon. William Gaston. LL.D., of the class of 1840. The scholarship is awarded to a member of the senior class solely upon scholarly merit.

THE WILLIAM GASTON PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN ORATORY. From the income of a fund established in 1894 as a memorial to the Hon. William Gaston, LL.D., of the class of 1840, a prize is awarded annually to the member of the graduating class who presents the best original address.

THE PRESTON GURNEY LITERARY PRIZES are derived from the income of a fund bequeathed in 1928 to Brown University by Preston Gurney, of the class of 1866. From the income of the endowment two prizes are awarded annually to members of the senior class for the best essays on approved literary topics.

THE FRANCES MASON HARRIS ’26 PRIZE established in 1983, is awarded annually to a woman undergraduate or graduate student for a book-length manuscript of poetry or prose-fiction.

THE MARION HASSENFELD PREMIUM IN MUSIC is paid from a fund bequeathed in 1960 by Marion Hassenfeld. It is an annual award to a woman student who “excels in music or music appreciation.”

THE MINNIE HELEN HICKS PREMIUM IN ENGLISH is awarded at the end of the senior year to the woman student who has “the highest standing in the courses in English literature and language.”

THE MINNIE HELEN HICKS PRIZES IN ART are awarded from income of the Minnie Helen Hicks Fund, for creative work in art by women students.

THE MINNIE HELEN HICKS PRIZES IN CLASSICAL APPRECIATION, instituted in 1953 from income of the Minnie Helen Hicks Prize Fund, is currently awarded to the woman undergraduate who presents the best paper in the course in Greek art and archaeology or in Greek and Roman history, these being offered in alternate years.

THE MINNIE HELEN HICKS PRIZES FOR ELOCUTION parallel, for women students, the Thomas Carpenter Prizes for Elocution established in 1867 for men students.

THE RATCLIFFE HICKS PREMIUM IN ENGLISH, established in 1915, from income from the Ratcliffe Hicks Fund of 1907, is awarded at the end of the senior year to the male student who has “the highest standing in the courses in English literature and language.”

THE RATCLIFFE HICKS PRIZES AND PREMIUMS FOR EXCELLENCE IN DEBATE, established in 1891 by the Hon. Ratcliffe Hicks, of the class of 1864, and by bequest in 1907, are awarded annually for intercollegiate debates and interclass debates.

THE DAVID HOWELL PREMIUM is awarded from income of a premium scholarship fund presented to the University in 1866 by Gamaliel Lyman Dwight in honor of his grandfather, David Howell. The premium is given at the close of the first semester of the senior year to the student who, “having a good record of deportment, has the highest rank in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.”

THE DOMENICO A. IONATA FUND, established by gifts of the family of Domenico A. Ionata, Class of 1926, provides for a premium to be awarded annually to that senior concentrating in engineering who demonstrates an unusual degree of creativity and imagination in an independent study project.

THE JIN PRIZE FUND was established in 1997 in honor of the late Professor Young-Son Jin and his wife, Mrs. Kyunghee Jin. This prize will be awarded to the most outstanding graduating senior on the basis of academic achievement and service.

THE PROFESSOR I. J. KAPSTEIN FUND, established by friends, students, and colleagues of Professor Kapstein, provides a premium for that undergraduate who has done the best work in the areas of literature, creative writing, or theater arts.

THE JAMES F. KIDWELL PRIZE IN GENETICS OR POPULATION BIOLOGY is awarded each year to a graduating biology concentrator for excellence in course work and research in these areas. The prize is in honor of Professor Kidwell.

THE NOAH KRIEGER MEMORIAL FUND was established in 1995 by family and friends of Noah Krieger, Class of 1993. Awards from this fund are given annually to one or more seniors studying in the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishment and intellectual ability.

THE SAMUEL C. LAMPORT PRIZES IN INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING, first offered in 1943 by annual gift of the Trustees of the Samuel C. and Miriam D. Lamport Foundation, are now awarded from the income of a fund donated to Brown University in 1952 by these trustees. The prizes are offered to undergraduate students for papers on international understanding, with emphasis on cooperation and tolerance.

THE LUCIUS LYON PRIZES IN LATIN are derived from the income of a fund presented in 1893 by Mrs. Caroline L. Lyon, in memory of her husband, Lucius Lyon, of the class of 1844. The prizes are awarded on the basis of a special examination relating to any or all of the following subjects: the Latin language, Latin literature, Roman history.

THE GEORGE H. MAIN ’45 FUND, established by gifts of the family and friends of George H. Main, class of 1945, provides for a premium to be awarded annually to that senior in engineering who is distinguished by his diligence and devotion to studies rather than for high grades and who holds promise of success in his field.

THE MURIEL HASSENFELD MANN PREMIUM IN MUSIC is paid from a fund bequeathed to the University in 1960. An annual award is made to a woman student who excels in music, music appreciation, or both.

THE HENRY PARKER MANNING MATHEMATICAL PRIZES, instituted in 1936 by annual gift, as the “Calculus Prizes,” are now paid out of the annual income of a fund established anonymously in 1949, on the ninetieth birthday of Henry Parker Manning, Brown 1883, mathematician and scholar of ancient languages. Competition is restricted to juniors.

THE BISHOP MCVICKAR PRIZES were instituted in 1909 by the Rt. Rev. William Neilson McVickar, Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island, 1898–1910, and are now awarded from the income of a fund established in 1923 in his memory by his sister, Miss E. C. McVickar. The prizes are awarded for the best papers submitted under conditions designated by the Department of Religious Studies.

THE ALEXANDER MEIKLEJOHN PREMIUM IN LOGIC is paid from income of a fund established anonymously in 1951. The premium is awarded to a freshman, sophomore, or junior who excels in logic and related subjects.

THE EVA A. MOOAR PREMIUM is derived from a fund established in 1967 by the gift of Mrs. Edward M. Kanzler (Lydia W. Mason ’31) honoring Eva A. Mooar, Pembroke Dean of Admissions 1926–54. It is awarded annually to that woman student of the senior class “whose achievement over her college years gives evidence of the greatest mental growth and who has contributed to the college and to the community.”

THE WALTER JOSEPH NELSON MEMORIAL PREMIUM FOR EXCELLENCE IN MUSIC, instituted in 1957, is paid from an expendable fund given to the University by friends of the late Dr. Walter J. Nelson, Brown 1934.

THE JAMES ALDRICH PIRCE PRIZE is awarded from the income of a fund established in 1927 by Miss Florence Pirce in memory of her brother, a member of the class of 1892. The prize is currently awarded to the male undergraduate who presents the best paper in the course in Greek art and archaeology or in Greek and Roman history, these being offered in alternate years.

THE MORRIS L. POVAR PRIZE IN PHYSIOLOGY OR ZOOLOGY is awarded annually to a senior biology concentrator for outstanding academic performance and research. The prize was established in honor of Professor Povar.

THE ROSE LOW ROME MEMORIAL PRIZE IN POETRY, paid by gift by Mrs. Peter H. Ten Ecyk (Arlene B. Rome, Pembroke ’43), is awarded annually for the best poem or poems submitted to the English department by an undergraduate or graduate student.

THE SUSAN COLVER ROSENBERGER PRIZES were established in 1919 by Jesse L. Rosenberger, as a memorial to his wife, who was the daughter of Charles K. Colver, of the class of 1842. The awards are to be made under conditions to be laid down by the University.

THE ROSTROPOVICH PRIZE IN MUSIC is awarded to the outstanding graduating string musician in the Brown Orchestra.

THE ROYCE FELLOWSHIP, established by a generous gift from Charles M. Royce, ’61, recognizes undergraduates who have gained distinction for their outstanding scholarship, leadership, creativity, and service.

THE HAROLD SCHLOSBERG MEMORIAL PREMIUM IN PSYCHOLOGY is derived from income of a fund established in 1964 by the colleagues, former students, and friends of Harold Schlosberg, professor of psychology and chair of the department, 1954–1964. It is awarded annually to an outstanding senior concentrating in psychology.

THE MURIEL FAIN SHER MEMORIAL PREMIUM IN PSYCHOLOGY is derived from the income of a fund established in 1952 by the friends of Muriel Fain Sher. It is awarded annually to the most outstanding woman student in the senior class “showing the greatest promise in the field of Psychology.”

THE SUSAN ROSS STEINFIELD MEMORIAL FUND was established in 1984 by the family and friends of Susan Ross Steinfield, class of 1961. Awards from this fund are made to seniors who have contributed significantly to the performing arts during their undergraduate years.

MARGARET B. STILLWELL PRIZE awarded each year by the John Russell Bartlett Society for the best collections of books developed by undergraduates attending colleges in the state of Rhode Island. Entry forms available at the John Carter Brown Library.

THE GILBERT STUART PRIZES IN ART have been awarded since 1965, from income of the Gilbert Stuart Prize Fund, established in 1955–56 by friends of Brown University and of for creative work in art.

THE TECHNICAL ANALYSIS CORPORATION AWARDS given annually by Dr. David M. Rosenbaum ’56, President of TAC, to an undergraduate member of Sigma Xi and Tau Beta Pi who best exemplifies the ideal of “whole person” by demonstrating excellence and initiative outside science and engineering.

THE YAT K. TOW PRIZE was established in 1991 by the family of Yat K. Tow '41, in his memory and is funded by his family and friends. The prize is awarded to a junior undergraduate, graduating senior or graduate student in May of each year. 

THE ROHN TRUELL PREMIUM IN APPLIED MATHEMATICS is derived from income of a fund established in 1968 by friends of Rohn Truell, former professor and chair of the Division of Applied Mathematics. It is awarded annually to a member or members of the senior class concentrating in applied mathematics, who during their studies at Brown have achieved high distinction.

THE MARJORIE HARRIS WEISS MEMORIAL PREMIUM IN HISTORY is awarded annually to the outstanding undergraduate woman student majoring in history.

THE ROSAMOND WINSLOW WOODWIND PRIZE established by Mr. and Mrs. Marcellus D. Lemaire and friends of Miss Rosamond W. Lemaire, Pembroke 1961, is given on the basis of a public audition.

Advanced Awards

THE SAMUEL T. ARNOLD FELLOWSHIPS were established in 1964 by Thomas J. Watson, to 1949 and later provost of the University. The fellowships provide unusually promising seniors with a year of foreign travel and independent study following graduation.

THE HARVEY A. BAKER FELLOWSHIPS were established in memory of Harvey A. Baker, class of 1903, by his wife. These fellowships support the first year of graduate or professional study for students who “have high scholastic standings, have participated in college activities, and have shown qualities of leadership” at Brown.

THE ANNE CROSBY EMERY ALUMNAE FELLOWSHIP provides financial assistance to women in the graduating class who continue their education in professional or graduate school. The fellowship was established in 1914 by the Alumnae Association to honor Anne Crosby Emery, the second dean of the Women’s College of Brown University.

THE BERNARD ROY POLLOCK MEMORIAL PRIZE established in 1984 to honor the memory of Bernard Roy Pollock of the class of 1948, is awarded to a graduating senior, accepted at an accredited law school, who “best exemplifies the personal and professional characteristics which made Bernie Pollock an outstanding member of the communities in which he lived and worked.”

THE WILLIAM ROBERT POTTER, 1887, PREMIUM IN CHEMISTRY, was established in 1942 from income of a fund bequeathed by William R. Potter. The premium is awarded “on the basis of a thesis of highest merit submitted by a postgraduate student specializing in chemistry.”

THE BARRY JAY ROSEN PREMIUM IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY was established in 1966 by friends and associates of Barry Jay Rosen, a graduate student at Brown from 1962–1965, who was awarded the Ph.D. degree posthumously in 1966. The premium is awarded to a graduate student for high achievement in the field of molecular biology.

THE BROWN CHAPTER OF SIGMA XI AWARD FUND was given to Brown University in 1954 by the Brown Chapter of Sigma Xi for an award toward the encouragement of science, whether for research, teaching, or otherwise.

Honorary Societies

Phi Beta Kappa

The Rhode Island Alpha of the Phi Beta Kappa Society was established at Brown University in 1830. Phi Beta Kappa seeks to reward “acquisition of liberal culture; command of cultivated expression in speech and writing; intellectual honesty and tolerance; breadth of intellectual interest; understanding not merely knowledge.” In terms of present day concerns and curricular structures, this is interpreted to mean that Phi Beta Kappa seeks to recognize, and thus to encourage, intellectual distinction among undergraduates, as attested by substantial formal evidence of outstanding academic accomplishment in the course of a broad educational experience. Excessively narrow preoccupation with any discipline or field of study may constitute grounds for disqualification even in cases of unquestionably superior academic performance. At least 40% of a candidate’s course work must be in mathematics, humanities, or the social sciences.

Election to Phi Beta Kappa is very competitive. Although not more than one-sixth of the candidates for the bachelor’s degrees (A.B. and Sc.B.) may receive invitations to become members, in recent years no more than one-tenth of a class has generally been invited into membership.

Additional information is available at: http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Dean_of_the_College/degree/pbk.php

Sigma Xi

The Society of the Sigma Xi was founded in 1886 for the encouragement of original investigation in science, pure and applied. The Brown University Chapter, established in 1900, sponsors lectures in a variety of scientific disciplines during the academic year.

Nominations for membership are made by representatives of the various science departments. From the list of nominees the Board of Electors, meeting in February each year, elects those deemed eligible. This Board consists of the Chapter President, the Chapter Secretary, who acts ex-officio as Chair, and a representative from each of the following departments: Applied Mathematics, Biology and Medicine, Chemistry, Cognitive and Linguistic Sciences, Computer Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Studies, Geological Sciences, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Physics, Psychology.

Tau Beta Pi

The Tau Beta Pi Association, national engineering honor society, was founded at Lehigh University in 1885 to mark, in a fitting manner, those who have conferred honor upon their alma mater by distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as undergraduates in engineering, or by their attainments as alumni in the field of engineering, and to foster a spirit of liberal culture in the engineering colleges of America. Each chapter has full control of its individual affairs, the control being vested primarily in the undergraduate members. An alumni advisory board may act in an advisory and judiciary capacity.

To be eligible for election to membership as an undergraduate, the student must be in either the junior or senior year. To be eligible as a junior, scholastic records must fall within the top eighth of the class and as a senior the top fifth. Distinguished scholarship, while the primary requisite for admission, is not considered the sole criterion. After the scholarship requirements have been fulfilled, the selection is based on integrity, breadth of interest both inside and outside of engineering, adaptability, and unselfish activity. An alumnus, either of Brown University or other accredited engineering schools, may be elected to membership if he or she has a proven record of character, ability, and integrity, the election still being made by the undergraduate chapter.

The Rhode Island Alpha Chapter was installed at Brown University on February 12, 1954. At the time of the installation of the chapter, in addition to the charter members, 128 alumni members were initiated, mostly alumni who would have been eligible for membership in the society had the chapter existed prior to their graduation.

Rosenberger Medal

The Susan Colver Rosenberger Medal of Honor is awarded by designation of the Faculty. Provision for the medal was made in 1919 by Jesse L. Rosenberger as a memorial to his wife, with the stipulation that it be used to recognize “specially notable or beneficial achievement in scholarship, in authorship, in public life of any kind, or relating to the advancement of the public welfare, or for whatever it may be thought best thus to honor and commemorate. . . .” The recipients and years of past awards are the following:

  • William Williams Keen, 1925
  • Charles Evans Hughes, 1928
  • John Davison Rockefeller, Jr., 1931
  • Charles Value Chapin, 1935
  • Mary Emma Woolley, 1937
  • Fred Tarbell Field, 1940
  • Henry Dexter Sharpe, 1944
  • Zechariah Chafee, Jr., 1947
  • Warren Randolph Burgess, 1953
  • Rowland Roberts Hughes, 1955
  • Theodore Francis Green, 1956
  • Alexander Meiklejohn, 1959
  • Waldo Gifford Leland, 1965
  • Thomas John Watson, Jr., 1968
  • Henry Merritt Wriston, 1976
  • Richard Salomon, 1982
  • Charles Carpenter Tillinghast, Jr., 1982
  • Howard Robert Swearer, 1983
  • Otto Eduard Neugebauer, 1987
  • Roderick Milton Chisholm, 1992
  • Vartan Gregorian, 1997
  • Sheila E. Blumstein, 2001
  • Artemis A.W. Joukowsky, 2005
  • Martha Sharp Joukowsky, 2005
  • Claiborne deBorda Pell, 2006
  • Stephen Robert, 2007
  • Charles C .J. Carpenter, 2009
  • Ruth J. Simmons, 2011

Honorary Degrees Conferred by the University

Prior records of honorary degree recipients are listed in archived University Bulletins

Commencement May 29, 2011

  • Arianna Huffington, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Katie King Crowley '97, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Nicholas D. Kristof, Doctor of Letters
  • David B. Mumford, Doctor of Science
  • John J. Nicholson, Doctor of Fine Arts
  • Lynn Ida Nottage '86, Doctor of Fine Arts
  • Lisa Randall, Doctor of Science
  • Kenneth Roth '77, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • David R. Scott, Doctor of Science
  • Zhao Zhenkai (Bei Dao), Doctor of Letters

October 21, 2011

  • Herbert M. Kaplan, Doctor of Humane Letters 

Commencement May 27, 2012

  • Carolyn Bertozzi,  Doctor of Science
  • Viola Davis, Doctor of Fine Arts
  • John Robert Lewis, Doctor of Laws
  • Marilynne Summers Robinson, Doctor of Letters
  • Sebastian A. Ruth, Doctor of Music
  • Diane Sawyer, Doctor of Letters
  • Gene Sharp, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Ruth J. Simmons, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Wei Yang, Doctor of Science

Commencement May 26, 2013

  • Benjamin Affleck, Doctor of Fine Arts
  • Junot Díaz, Doctor of Letters
  • Stanley Falkow '61, Doctor of Science
  • Beverly Wade Hogan, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Risa J. Lavizzo-Mourey, Doctor of Medical Science
  • Eduardo J. Padrón, Doctor of Humane Letters

Commencement May 25, 2014

  • Lee Berk, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Beatrice E. Coleman, Doctor of Humane Letters (Awarded Posthumously)
  • Jeffrey Eugenides, Doctor of Letters
  • Arthur L. Horwich, Doctor of Medical Science
  • Mary Lou Jepsen, Doctor of Science
  • Debra L. Lee, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Lois Lowry, Doctor of Letters
  • Nalini Moreshwar Nadkarni, Doctor of Science
  • Thomas E. Perez, Doctor of Laws

Commencement May 24, 2015

  • Robert A. Corrigan, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Louise Lamphere, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • David E. McKinney, Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Tracee Ellis Ross, Doctor of Fine Arts
  • Susan Solomon, Doctor of Science
  • Kathryn D. Sullivan, Doctor of Science