We invite you to nominate candidates to receive honorary degrees from the University of Pennsylvania at upcoming Commencement exercises. The criterion for selection is the degree to which the candidate reflects the highest ideal of the University, which is to produce graduates who change the world through innovative acts of scholarship, scientific discovery, artistic creativity and/or societal leadership.
We encourage you to involve your faculty colleagues, within and across departments and schools, in the nomination process. Nominations should describe how the nominee meets the criterion for selection and list the nominee's unique achievements and contributions. Please include as much biographical and other supporting information as possible, but we ask that you avoid contacting the nominee for information, since nominees should not know that they are being considered. We particularly encourage nominations from departments and schools whose fields have not been recognized by the award of honorary degrees in recent years. Please note that it is University policy not to consider Penn standing faculty, trustees, or school and center overseers for Penn honorary degrees.
Please send signed letters of nomination on your official stationery to: University Council Committee on Honorary Degrees, c/o Office of the Secretary, 211 College Hall/6303. Nominations may also be faxed to (215) 898-0103. If you have any questions, please e-mail or telephone Molly Roth at email@example.com or (215) 898-6408.
Nominations are welcome any time during the year, but the selection is frequently made a year or more in advance. Candidates may ultimately be selected several years after their initial nominations. For 2006, the tercentenary of Benjamin Franklin's birth, you might consider nominating his intellectual heirs to be among the honorees. We would encourage you to be imaginative in interpreting Franklin's legacy and tracing his lineage. Printer, revolutionary, scientist, diplomat, artist, inventor, essayist, craftsman, and gentleman farmer are only some of Franklin's many roles.
The University Council Committee's recommendations are forwarded to the Trustee Committee on Honorary Degrees and Awards, which makes the final selection. The list of previous University of Pennsylvania honorary degree recipients can be found at www.upenn.edu/commencement/hist/index.html.
Honorary degrees are important statements of Penn's values and aspirations, and we strongly encourage your participation in this process.
—E. Ann Matter, Chair, University Council Committee on Honorary Degrees
—Amy Gutmann, President
Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 10, November 2, 2004
November 2, 2004
Volume 51 Number 10