1. Who is eligible to receive an honorary degree from USF?

Any individual who has not previously received an honorary degree from USF and who meets the stated eligibility criteria may be nominated.  It is uncommon, however, for current employees of the university, or for sitting politicians to be nominated, and in no case will a financial gift to the university be a consideration for the granting of an honorary degree.

2. What are the steps involved in awarding an honorary degree?

The first step is to complete and submit a nomination form. Anonymous nominations are not accepted.

Nominations are then reviewed by the University's Honorary Degree Committee. After a thorough review, nominees deemed to meet the stated criteria are submitted to the Executive Committee of the University's Board of Trustees. That committee, which includes the university president, makes the final decision.

3. Where can I get help submitting a nomination?

Each of the University's colleges and schools has a representative on the honorary degree committee. Anyone seeking help or preliminary feedback about a nominee should contact his/her representative. The committee's current members and their contact information are listed on this web page. University alumni may contact the representative from the school they graduated from or the committee chair. Samples of successful nominations are available on this web page. 

4. Do I have to appear before the honorary degree committee?

It is not necessary for anyone making a nomination to appear before the committee. Detailed nomination forms are usually sufficient, although we encourage individuals making a nomination to refer to the samples to get an idea of the extent of information necessary to enable the committee to make a decision.

5. Who decides which graduation ceremony an honorary degree recipient will attend?

The University president, in collaboration with the deans, determines the most appropriate graduation ceremony for the awarding of an honorary degree.

6. Does the honorary degree committee select graduation speakers?

No. Graduation speakers are selected by individual schools and colleges. It is customary, however, for honorary degree recipients to address the graduating class after receiving their degree, although this is not a requirement.

7. May I notify the person I wish to nominate in advance of submitting a nomination?

Confidentiality is important at all stages of the selection process.  The nominee should not be informed their name is being submitted.