Mission Statement

To recognize individual exemplary and substantial leadership, notable accomplishments, discoveries, service, and enduring contributions that reflect and represent the values of Roosevelt University, in order to bestow our highest honor, the Honorary Doctorate.


The Honorary Doctorate is the highest award that Roosevelt University confers. It is awarded only at Commencement. Recognizing that this award is given to elevate Roosevelt in the eyes of the world by honoring achievements in the recipient's field of endeavor, to enhance the dignity of the University and to deepen appreciation of the role it performs in society, the honorary degree is given:

  • To honor individuals who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary achievements in scholarship, civic engagement, the professions or creative activities;
  • To honor alumni and other individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the welfare and development of Roosevelt or the communities of which they are a part;
  • To recognize exceptional acts of philanthropy;
  • To recognize outstanding civic engagement that advances Roosevelt, Illinois, or the world.

Procedure for nominating and approving a candidate for an honorary degree

Any Roosevelt faculty, staff, student, alumni member or member of the Board may nominate a potential candidate. An individual's nomination need not come from someone in his/her academic area. Nominations of persons with distinguished accomplishments outside of conventional academic fields are welcomed. Nominations of candidates from diverse backgrounds, and whose own accomplishments might serve to highlight areas in which Roosevelt has developed exceptional strength, are particularly welcomed.

Nominations should be forwarded to the Office of the President for committee review and approval.

Nominations are to include a formal nomination request letter, a current vita for the candidate and any other supporting materials the nominator feels should be brought to committee's attention. Note that the following questions must be answered in the nominator's letter of nomination:

  • What is the nominee's specific contribution?
  • What is original about that contribution?
  • Of all possible contributors to the field of endeavor, why is this nominee exceptional?
  • Why is the field of the nominee especially appropriate to Roosevelt University?

Submit nominations to president@roosevelt.edu. Nominations may be submitted at any time, however final decisions are typically made by November 1 of the year of May commencement.

Confidentiality is crucial to the nomination process

Under no circumstances should the nominee be informed that his or her name has been put forward. Not all excellent candidates can be recognized, and knowledge of a failed nomination can be embarrassing and harmful. Further, the nominator should not solicit letters of support on behalf of the nominee from people outside the University. Official notification of Roosevelt's wish to confer an honorary degree upon an individual is made by the President.

Attendance at Commencement Ceremony

Candidates for the honorary doctorate are expected to be present for the awarding of the
degree at the university commencement ceremony and will usually be asked to provide
the keynote address in accepting the honorary degree. Should a candidate not be
available, his or her nomination may be carried over to a subsequent year for

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