Suggest an Honorary Degree Candidate

Williams has conferred honorary degrees since 1795. All members of the college community are encouraged to make nominations, from which each year the Honorary Degrees Advisory Committee recommends to the full Board of Trustees a group of potential recipients who have excelled in diverse fields and stand as inspiring examples for our graduating students. Each year one recipient delivers the Commencement address and one delivers the Baccalaureate address. Guidelines for nominations are below the form. Before submitting your nomination, please check to ensure that the person hasn’t already received an honorary degree.


Guidelines for nominations

Honorary degree recipients should reflect the diversity of our community and represent exceptional accomplishments in any field of endeavor. Our honorary degree recipients will speak, either at Baccalaureate or at Commencement, so nominations should be made with this in mind.

  • For Baccalaureate Speaker: Someone who is an interesting public speaker at a service that is reflective in tone and incorporates elements of spiritual traditions.
  • For Commencement Speaker: Someone who is likely to be an interesting and effective public speaker and whose message will be meaningful to the large audience of family and friends who will attend this celebratory event.