ALERT : Happy Thanksgiving! Kettering University will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday November 27 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

University Policy 12 - Honorary Degrees

University Policy 12
Honorary Degrees

Initially Approved: July 11, 2012
Policy Topic:  Governance and Administration
Administering Office: Office of the President

Issued : July 24, 2012


An honorary degree is one of higher education’s most significant accolades. It is the policy of Kettering University to award honorary degrees on a selective basis to distinguished individuals who merit special recognition for genuine achievement and distinction in a field or activity consonant with the mission of the University. The Board of Trustees has the exclusive power to confer honorary degrees.


 An honorary degree may be awarded to a person who satisfies the following criteria:

  • Eminence, in the course of a career, in some field of scholarship, in public service, or in an artistic, literary, governmental, religious, financial, or other endeavor; and
  • An adequate reason for recognition by Kettering University, in the form of an association or relationship with the University or a nexus between the individual’s achievements and the mission or life of the University.


Nominations for honorary degrees may be made by the President or to the President by the Academic Departments through the Department Head.  The President shall request the Faculty Senate to consider all recommendations and suggestions for honorary degrees and report its recommendations, made by two-thirds vote of those members of the Faculty Senate present and voting, to the President.

The Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees shall review all nominees submitted by the President and shall forward its recommendations to the full Board of Trustees. The Board shall not award an honorary degree to any nominee who is not the subject of an affirmative recommendation by the Academic Affairs Committee.  While the number of nominations is not limited, except under unusual circumstances when the Board of Trustees determines otherwise, no more than two honorary degrees may be awarded at a given commencement.

Any nomination of an honorary degree candidate should be placed on the Board of Trustees regular meeting agenda for September for receipt of the degree at the December commencement or March for receipt of the degree at the June commencement.  Only in extraordinary circumstances will the Executive Committee convene a special meeting to consider a candidate on behalf of the Academic Committee and the full Board of Trustees.

Except under unusual circumstances when the Board of Trustees determines otherwise, an honorary degree recipient shall not receive a speaker’s fee or honorarium for accepting an honorary degree or delivering a commencement address or the equivalent.  No honorary degree shall be conferred unless the recipient is present.  Honorary degrees shall not be awarded to members of the Board of Trustees or to active employees of the University.


This policy shall be reviewed and revised as necessary every five (5) years.


Kettering University Bylaws Article XIX.  Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degree Recipients