UF Honors & Awards

Following are the guidelines for nominating individuals for University Awards.

Honorary Degree


Other than the earned doctorate, the greatest recognition the University of Florida can give an individual is an honorary degree. Such awards are not given lightly, and relatively few are awarded. The awarding of an honorary degree is recognition of eminent achievement in scholarship or high distinction in public service which exemplifies the purposes and ideals of the University of Florida. More particularly, honorary degrees are awarded for sustained achievements of lasting significance and value, not for a single accomplishment. Preference is given to individuals who are connected in some significant and meaningful way with the state or with the university.

Under no circumstances can a college or other unit of the University of Florida grant an honorary degree and only the University can give the Distinguished Alumnus or Distinguished Achievement Awards. However, colleges may provide other recognitions or honors when it is clearly not a University award. Examples of these awards could include “Outstanding Psychology Graduate” or “Distinguished Journalism Alumnus.”

Because the University of Florida is a public university and part of the State University System, the university’s policy is that elected or appointed officials of the State of Florida or the Federal Government to whom the university is directly or indirectly answerable are ineligible for honorary degrees. Faculty members, officers, and employees of the university are also ineligible.

Anyone can nominate an individual for an honorary degrees, the nomination must be supported by individuals who are prominent in the candidate’s field of accomplishment and in a position to judge the candidate’s contributions and achievements. For nominees in the areas of scholarship or the creative arts, the appropriate academic authorities on campus are normally consulted before a recommendation is made by the Committee on Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Alumnus Awards and Memorials. For nominees in the area of public service and achievement, assessment of a nominee’s accomplishments and standing is normally solicited from the appropriate, knowledgeable persons or agencies. Strong support from such knowledgeable authorities in the different areas is essential for the success of a nomination.

After review of all materials, the Committee makes its recommendation to the Faculty Senate. Upon approval by the senate, the recommendation then goes to the president of the university, who then makes a recommendation to the Board of Trustees for action. The Board has final authority.

Deadlines and Nominations

The Committee on Honorary Degrees, Distinguished Alumnus Awards and Memorials meets twice a year (February and October) to consider nominations. For the Committee to act on nomination, the complete package (nomination, 3 letters of support and biographical information) must be received before the meeting.

Nomination Packages

The nomination package for the honorary degree, distinguished alumnus award and distinguished achievement award should include background information on the nominee, a resume and three or more letters of recommendation. The complete nomination package should be submitted to:

Donna K. Stricker
Director, Presidential Events & Commencement
PO Box 113150
Gainesville, FL 32611-3117
Phone: 352-392-1311
E-mail: donnas@ufl.edu