Honorary Degree Nominations

Message to the USC Community

From: Margo K. Apostolos, Chair, Honorary Degrees Committee

September 12, 2018

I am writing to encourage each member of the USC community to nominate distinguished individuals worthy to receive an honorary degree, our university’s highest external honor, awarded to recognize extraordinary accomplishments in any field.  The nomination form and detailed instructions are available at www.usc.edu/honorarydegrees.

Nomination is not a difficult process, and every nomination will be carefully considered by the Honorary Degrees Committee.  While you can submit a nomination at any time, I encourage you to do so during the fall semester.  Nominations should be submitted to me, c/o the Office of the Provost, ADM 204, MC 4019.

Confidentiality is crucial.  Nominees must not know that they are under consideration.  No letters of support should be solicited from anyone outside USC.  Any breach of confidentiality will disqualify the nominee.

Only USC faculty, staff, students, alumni, or trustees may submit a nomination.  You may think of a worthy nominee in your own academic or creative field or outside it, or someone with distinguished accomplishments outside of any conventional academic fields.  The committee is particularly interested in candidates from diverse backgrounds as well as those whose accomplishments highlight areas in which the university has special strength.

The honorary degree is given for one or more of the following reasons:

  • To honor individuals who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary achievements in scholarship, the professions, or other creative activities, whether or not they are widely known by the general public;
  • To honor alumni and other individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the welfare and development of USC or the communities of which they are a part;
  • To recognize exceptional acts of philanthropy to the university, the nation, or the world; and
  • To elevate the university in the eyes of the world by honoring individuals who are widely known and highly regarded for achievements in their respective fields of endeavor.

Each year the Honorary Degrees Committee proposes a slate of nominees of outstanding distinction to the president and the Board of Trustees, who select the final recipients.  The commencement speaker is selected through a different process.

For more information and a list of past recipients, please see www.usc.edu/honorarydegrees.