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Honorary Degrees


The University of Dayton intentionally recognizes with honorary doctoral degrees, individuals of extraordinary achievement and distinguished service who exemplify the University’s mission, aspirations and institutional values. The University uses five criteria flowing from its mission and identity to recognize individuals who exemplify these criteria in selfless service to the Catholic Church, the city of Dayton, the Miami Valley, the United States and the world. UD's honorary degree recipients are worthy role models for our community of faculty, staff, alumni, and especially students.

The University's Board of Trustees awards honorary degrees upon the recommendation of the President. The Honorary Degree Committee assists the President by reviewing nominations and making its recommendations to the President. The President then recommends prospective recipients to the Board of Trustees for confirmation of conferral of the honorary degree.

Anyone associated with the University community is invited to nominate persons for honorary degrees. Persons actively engaged at the University in full-time, contractual, or salaried positions, or are currently members of the Board of Trustees, Advisory Councils, or Committees are ineligible for nomination. The Honorary Degree Committee reviews nominations twice a year; however, nominations may be submitted at any time.

For more details regarding the honorary degrees policy, please refer to the Conferral of Honorary Degrees Policy.

Nomination Process

To nominate someone for an honorary degree, please download and save the nomination form on your own device. Once you have completed the nomination, re-save the document and send it as an attachment via email to the UD Honorary Degree Committee at

The nomination will ask you to explain how the nominee actively leads and serves in the tradition of both the Catholic and Marianist character of UD and exemplifies UD‘s vision as the University for the Common Good.  Address at least 1 out of the 5 following characteristics of the vision:   

To those who partner for the common good

The University of Dayton's Catholic, Marianist values and its faith in peoples' 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.

There is no guarantee that a nomination will lead to the conferral of an honorary degree. Therefore, we ask that you please keep your recommendation confidential from others, including the nominee. 

In the interest of confidentiality, there will be no communication with nominators beyond notice of receipt of the nomination.

Questions regarding honorary degrees should be directed to the University of Dayton Honorary Degree Committee at


Office of the President

St. Mary's Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1624