Frequently Asked Questions

About the selection of SLU commmencement speakers, honorary degree recipients

How do I nominate an individual for an honorary degree or to speak at SLU's Spring Commencement?

Members of the SLU community may make a nomination using this form.

Who can make a nomination for a speaker or recipient of an honorary degree?

All members of the SLU community — faculty, students, staff, alumni and benefactors — are invited to nominate worthy individuals for this important recognition.

When is the deadline to submit nominations?

There is no hard-and-fast deadline to submit nominations. However, the earlier that nominations are received before spring commencement, the better.

Are current or past employees of Saint Louis University eligible to be nominated?

Yes, and like other candidates, they must exhibit the criteria listed here.

Why does the University award honorary degrees?

By awarding honorary degrees, the University seeks to:

  • Honor those whose actions reflect the mission of Saint Louis University and its nearly 500-year-old Catholic, Jesuit tradition to pursue truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity
  • Recognize the outstanding scholarly, professional, service and creative achievements of members of the local, national or international communities
  • Promote the ideals of faith and justice in the spirit of the Gospels by highlighting efforts to maintain and improve the quality of life for all persons
  • Build the University's reputation of recognizing and honoring deserving individuals known and highly respected for accomplishments in their fields.

Why does this process have to remain confidential?

To respect the privacy and reputation of all involved, the University requests and requires that all submitted nominees remain confidential. The nominee should not be informed of his or her nomination, because not all excellent candidates can be recognized, and knowledge of a failed nomination can be embarrassing and hurtful.

How are the final recipients chosen?

Nominations will be vetted by the University Recognition Committee, which includes representation from students, faculty, staff and administration. The University's Board of Trustees will make the final decision.

When are honorary degrees awarded?

They are awarded each year at Spring Commencement. Find the date of this year's spring commencement on the University's Academic Calendar.

Should the nominee's accomplishments reflect the University's mission?

Yes, the nominee's accomplishments should be consistent with the University's mission to pursue truth for the greater glory of God and for the service of humanity. Candidates of all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds will be considered, but their actions and publicly stated beliefs should not directly conflict with the teachings and precepts of the Catholic Church.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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