Honorary Degrees

The University of Memphis has the authority to award up to two honorary degrees each year to distinguished individuals who merit special recognition for extraordinary achievements that have improved the community they serve, contributed to society, as well as benefited the University of Memphis.


How to Nominate

You are invited to nominate a person for his or her outstanding performance and to whom the University of Memphis can show its appreciation. The guidelines for awarding honorary degrees are outlined in UofM Policy - AA3023 - Awarding the Honorary Degree. In order to nominate a person please review this policy and include the following:

  • A letter of nomination, including:
    • A summary of the distinguished contributions made by the nominee whose career reflects sustained, exceptional achievement in some field of scholarship, public service, or in an artistic, literary, governmental, financial, professional, research, leadership, cultural affairs, or other endeavor.

    • The nominator's relationship with the candidate, and any perceived potential conflicts of interest.

    • An indication of the extent to which the nominee has been associated with the University of Memphis.

    • Any additional pertinent information.

After review of the nominees, the Honorary Degree Committee will solicit additional supporting materials including the nominee's vita and three (3) letters of recommendation from within or outside of the university explaining why the candidate is worthy of further consideration for the award of an honorary degree from the University of Memphis.


Send your nomination to provost@memphis.edu


Previous Recipients

  • 2023  Raymond Zimmerman
  • 2022  No degree awarded
  • 2021  Bill Haslam
  • 2020  Richard C. Shadyac, Jr.
  • 2019  Alan B. Graf Jr | Dr. Michael J. Spalding | Vice Admiral Walter E. "Ted" Carter, Jr.
  • 2018  Donald E. Graham | Dr. Robert Waller
  • 2017  Dr. John B. King, Jr.
  • 2016  Donald E. Godwin
  • 2015  Gary Shorb | Dr. Scott Morris
  • 2014  Honey Scheidt | R. Brad Martin
  • 2013  Jim Ayers
  • 2012  Larry Papasan
  • 2011  Bert Bornblum
  • 2010  Maxine Smith
  • 2009  Robert Fogelman
  • 2008  Fred Smith
  • 2007  Rudi E. Scheidt
  • 2006  Harry W. Feinstone