Skip to main content

Conferral of Honorary Degrees Policy

Conferral of Honorary Degrees Policy


The University of Dayton intentionally recognizes, through the conferral of honorary doctoral degrees, individuals of extraordinary and distinguished achievement who exemplify the University’s mission, aspirations and institutional values.  Those individuals who receive honorary doctoral degrees from the University have selflessly served the Catholic Church, the city of Dayton, the Miami Valley, the United States, or the world. The University’s honorary degree recipients are worthy role models for the University community of faculty, staff, alumni, and especially students.


University of Dayton faculty, staff, alumni, and students.

Policy History

Effective Date:  February 15, 1974

Approval:  January 7, 2019

Policy History: 

  • Approved in original form: February 15, 1974
  • Approved as amended: June 12, 2000
  • Approved as amended: April 14, 2016
  • Approved as amended: January 7, 2019

Maintenance of Policy:  University President and Vice President for Advancement


The University of Dayton awards honorary degrees to individuals who have the following characteristics.  

To those who partner for the common good

The University of Dayton’s Catholic, Marianist values and its faith in people's ability to work together to shape a more just future calls the University community to lead in service to the common good, an important aspect of Catholic social tradition and a great need in today’s culture. As a university, the University of Dayton educates for service, justice and peace, and aspires to be known as the University for the common good. In focusing on the common good, the University acknowledges the importance of working towards this goal in solidarity, beyond just self-interest and recognizing those who do so.

To those who build community across diversity

As a Marianist community, the University of Dayton believes in the innate social nature of human beings and the importance of educating in family spirit. In such environments, individuals are able to find their authentic selves and love others as brothers and sisters. As a result, the University recognizes those who embody these beliefs by building communities of “one mind and one heart”, breaking down barriers between people, and teaching community-building skills.

To those who excel in integrated learning and scholarship

As a Marianist university, the University of Dayton provides an integral quality education. The University believes in full human education — the heart, head, and hands - and that all members of the University community are educators. The University recognizes those who reflect its educational values, integrating the arts and the humanities with development in professional fields in order to enhance creative and critical thinking.

To those who manifest a great ability to search for truth grounded in both faith and reason.

As a Marianist university, the University of Dayton educates for formation in faith, seeking to develop whole persons who personally appropriate and practice religious faith. As a Catholic university, the University seeks to advance the dialogue between faith and reason, a centerpiece of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, and the University recognizes those whose lives and work are similarly focused.

To those who demonstrate practical wisdom and an ability to adapt and change for the common good

As a Marianist university, the University of Dayton believes in reading the signs of the times, in thinking both critically and imaginatively. The University values practical wisdom, which demands the ability to adapt and change, and not only critique society, but also offer practical solutions to promote the common good. The University recognizes those who have demonstrated these characteristics in pursuit of the common good.

Guided by the five criteria articulated above, the University of Dayton affirms its desire:

  • to recognize superior leadership or achievement in a chosen field of endeavor or in the face of extraordinary circumstances;
  • to acknowledge a selfless spirit of service to the Catholic church, the city of Dayton, the Miami Valley, the United States, or the world;
  • to express appreciation for exceptional generosity that enables the University’s mission and vision;
  • to publicly identify and recognize worthy role models for students, faculty, alumni, and the community.

Reference Documents

  1. Code of Regulations of University of Dayton Article V, Section 7 (k)

For questions relating to the University policies of Advancement, please contact:

Emily Holterman, Senior Director, Advancement Services