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UIC Commencement



Commencement ceremony patterns have evolved over the last few decades, the current one being the most well received by students, faculty and parents. Read more about the history of commencement at University of Illinois at Chicago.


The Senate External Relations and Public Service Committee invites you to submit nominations for consideration in awarding honorary degrees at UIC. Honorary degrees are the highest award conferred by UIC. An honorary degree may be awarded for exemplary and extraordinary contributions either to the scholarly or professional world, to public service, or to UIC's achievements and the ideals of its missions of teaching, research, service, and economic development. We welcome nominations of persons of national or international renown within or outside official academic disciplines, which is also the practice with most major institutions of higher education throughout the United States. Some relationship with UIC is desirable but not required for consideration, but in this case, it is particularly necessary to explain why this individual is deserving of an honorary degree from UIC.

The approved guidelines for awarding honorary degrees at UIC, including eligibility criteria, nomination procedures, process and timelines can be accessed at:

An original and 8 copies should be marked CONFIDENTIAL: HONORARY DEGREES and submitted to: Senate Coordinator and Clerk; UIC Office of the Senate - M/C 303; 750 S. Halsted, Rm. 513 Student Center East (SCE); Chicago, IL 60607-7016.

The type of degree and which College confers the degree is determined in consultation between the Chancellor and Board of Trustees office.


William S. Bike
Chair, Senate External Relations and Public Service Committee and Honorary Degree Nominating Committee
(312) 996-8495

Maria Hinojosa, Doctor of Humane Letters (presented at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Ceremony)

Ertharin Cousin, Doctor of Humane Letters (presented at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Ceremony)

Shing-Tung Yau, Doctor of Humane Letters (presented at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Ceremony)

Marian wright Edelman, Doctor of Humane Letters (presented at the School of Public Health Ceremony)

N. Scott Momaday, Doctor of Humane Letters (presented at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Ceremony)

Sam Pitroda, Doctor of Humane Letters (presented at the College of Medicine Ceremony)

Barbara Schaal, Doctor of Biological Sciences (presented at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Ceremony)

Robert McCormich Adams, Doctor of Letters (presented at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences commencement ceremony).

Richard Hill, Doctor of Engineering  (presented at the College of Engineering commencement ceremony).
Walter Netsch, Doctor of Architecture (presented at the College of Architecture and the Arts commencement ceremony).

James Tyree, Doctor of Humane Letters (presented at the College of Medicine commencement ceremony).
Shirley Welsh Ryan, Doctor of Humane Letters  (presented at the College of Nursing commencement ceremony).

No honorary degrees were presented from 2004 - 2006 due to the new commencement model that was adopted which featured individual college commencements.  Honorary degrees were reinstated in 2007.

Friedrich E.P. Hirzebruch, Doctor of Science
Sir Richard Doll, Doctor of Science

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Doctor of Humane Letters
Thomas Wikman, Doctor of Fine Arts

Mrs. Joan W. Harris, Doctor of Fine Arts
Margaret Taylor Burroughs, Doctor of Humane Letters

Leon Despres, Doctor of Humane Lectures
Sue Hendrickson, Doctor of Humane Letters

Jessye Norman, Doctor of Fine Arts
Vivette Ravel Rifkin, Doctor of Humane Letters

Jacob A. Lawrence, Doctor of Fine Arts
Quentin D. Young, Doctor of Humane Letters

Leslie Z. Benet, Doctor of Science
Juan Bosch, Doctor of Arts
Leo Henikoff, Bachelor of Science
Maria Tallchief, Doctor of Fine Arts

Van Rensselaer Potter, Doctor of Science
Nawal El Saadawi, Doctor of Humane Letters

Leon A. Henkin, Doctor of Science
Ramsey E. Lewis, Jr., Doctor of Arts
Ruth Barcan Marcus, Doctor of Humane Letters
Chang-Lin Tien, Doctor of Engineering

Charles Bowsher, Doctor of Science
Dudley Herschbach, Doctor of Science
Merton Miller, Doctor of Science
Hubert Loius Will, Doctor of Social Service

Paulo Friere, Doctor of Humane Letters
Bernard Shaw, Doctor of Letters

Irving Harris, Doctor of Social Service
Lous Sullivan, Doctor of Science

Charles Moore, Doctor of Fine Arts
Otto Wichterle, Doctor of Science

Ardis Kranik, Doctor of Musical Arts
I.M. Singer, Doctor of Science

John Hejduk, Doctor of Humane Letters
A. Leon Higginbothan, Jr, Doctor of Laws
Leon M. Lederman, Doctor of Science
Harriet H. Werley, Doctor of Science
George G. Mostow, Doctor of Science

Gary Stanley Becker, Doctor of Science
Willard L. Boyd, Doctor of Arts
William B. Graham, Doctor of Laws
Frank H. Westheimer, Doctor of Science

Etta Moten Barnett, Doctor of Fine Arts
Amelia Mangay Maglacas, Doctor of Science

Peter Eisenman, Doctor of Fine Arts
Shervert H. Frazier, Doctor of Science
C. Rollins Hanlon, Doctor of Science
Gerhard Levy, Doctor of Science
John Brooks Slaughter, Doctor of Science
Lawrence W. Towner, Doctor of Letters

Archibald Cox, Doctor of Laws
Vernon E. Jordan, Doctor of Laws
Rozella M. Schlotfeldt, Doctor of Science
James B. Wyngaarden, Doctor of Science
Govindappa Venkataswamy, Doctor of Science

Carl B. Dickerson, Doctor of Laws
David A. Hamburg, Doctor of Science
Ruth Page, Doctor of Fine Arts
Donald F. Steiner, Doctor of Science
Daniel J. Terra, Doctor of Fine Arts

Laszlo Lorland, Doctor of Science
Philip M. Klutznick, Doctor of Laws
Louis Sudler, Doctor of Musical Arts
Mary L. Good, Doctor of Science

Emil J. Freireich, Doctor of Science
Arno G. Motulsky, Doctor of Science
Robert Stuart, Doctor of Laws
Louis "Studs" Terkel, Doctor of Humane Letters
Jessie A. Woods, Doctor of Fine Arts

Sidney D. Drell, Doctor of Science
John H. Johnson, Doctor of Laws
Seymour S. Kety, Doctor of Science
John W. Tyler, Doctor of Letters
Lorenz E. Zimmerman, Doctor of Science

Lerone Bennet, Jr., Doctor of Humane Letters
Joseph L. Block, Docter of Laws
Carol Fox, Doctor of Musical Arts
Takeru Higuchi, Doctor of Science
Abner J. Mikva, Doctor of Laws
Mary Kelly Mullane, Doctor of Science
Edmund D. Pellegrino, Doctor of Science

Felix Candela, Doctor of Fine Arts
James T. Farrell, Doctor of Letters
Donald A. Henderson, Doctor of Science
Julius B. Richmond, Doctor of Science

Harry F. Dowling, Doctor of Science
Martin David Kamen, Doctor of Science

Saul Bellow, Doctor of Letters
Cyrus Colter, Doctor of Letters
Fredric a. Gibbs, Doctor of Science
Benny Goodman, Doctor of Fine Arts
Robert Green Sachs, Doctor of Science

Francis J. Gerty, Doctor of Science
Robert Stephen Ingersoll, Doctor of Laws

Walter Earl Barton, Doctor of Science
Gwendolyn Brooks, Doctor of Letters
Rowine Hayes Brooks, Doctor of Science
David Riesman, Doctor of Laws
Joseph Warkany, Doctor of Science

Estella Brodman, Doctor of Science
David Rittenhouse Inglis, Doctor of Science
Rosalyn Yalow, Doctor of Science

Granville Allison Bennet, Doctor of Science
Edward E. David, Jr., Doctor of Engineering
Margaret Baggett Dolan, Doctor of Science
Herman B. Wells (in abstenia), Doctor of Laws

A. Adrian Albert, Doctor of Humane Letters
Derek Curtis Bok, Doctor of Laws
Harry Mark Petrakis, Doctor of Humane Letters
Samuel Weiler Witer, Doctor of Laws

Warren Henry Cole, Doctor of Science
Paul Howard Douglas, Doctor of Laws
John Hope Franklin, Doctor of Humane Letters

Maynard K. Hine, Doctor of Science
William Huffman, Doctor of Science
Warren Sturgis, Doctor of Science

Katherine Ellen Faville, Doctor of Science
Frank Hyneman Knight, Doctor of Humanities
Theodore Kenneth Lawless, Doctor of Science
Raymond White, Doctor of Laws

John Schodd Millis, Doctor of Science
Robert Clifton Weaver, Doctor of Science

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