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Honorary Degrees

Eastern Kentucky University awards honorary degrees to persons in recognition of outstanding contributions to the University or to society through achievements in a particular field.

Nominations are accepted year-round. One honorary degree will be awarded at the Spring and Fall commencement ceremonies. 

Criteria for Honorary Degrees


  1. Recipients shall be distinguished in their fields and have demonstrated exemplary achievements. This recognition should focus attention on the University community’s commitment to the development of knowledge and the betterment of humanity.
  2. Honorary degrees shall be granted posthumously or in absentia only in unusual circumstances.
  3. The nominee shall have gained distinction worthy of recognition extending well beyond his/her own field of endeavor and geographical area of activity.
  4. No current member of the EKU Board of Regents nor active EKU faculty/staff member shall be so honored.
  5. Former faculty and staff of Eastern Kentucky University shall meet the same criteria as other nominees; current faculty and staff are not eligible.
  6. Although it is preferable for the nominee to have a tie to Eastern Kentucky University or the Commonwealth of Kentucky, such a connection shall not be a requirement.
  7. Elected or appointed officials of the Commonwealth of Kentucky shall not be eligible as honorary degree candidates during their terms of office.
  8. Except on special occasions or in unusual circumstances, the number of honorary degrees awarded at any given ceremony shall be limited to one at the Spring Commencement and one at the Fall Commencement.
  9. The honoree must be present to receive the honorary degree.

Honorary Degrees Awarded

The kinds of Honorary Degrees that may be awarded at EKU shall be:

  • Doctor of Humanities (L.H.D) – Distinguished service to arts and culture
  • Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.) – Distinguished service to the public
  • Doctor of Pedagogy (Ped.D.) – Distinguished service to education
  • Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) – Distinguished service to science or health
  • Doctor of Commerce (Com.D) – Distinguished service in business or commerce
  • Doctor of Humane Letters (L.H.D.) – Distinguished service to humanity


For more information or to submit an honorary degree nomination, contact Dr. Ryan Wilson at

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