Honorary Degrees

Honorary degrees are typically awarded by William & Mary at Charter Day and Commencement ceremonies as well as other special events to distinguished individuals. The tradition was begun in 1756 with the granting of an honorary degree to Benjamin Franklin.

2018 Honorees

Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia
Trudier Harris, W&M's first tenured African-American faculty member
Frances G. McGlothlin '66, philanthropist
Hunter J. Smith '51, philanthropist

2017 Honorees

Michael Clemons '89, football All-American
Millie West, Tribe Athletics coach, administrator and fundraiser

2016 Honorees

Ellen Stofan '83, NASA's chief scientist
Jack Edwards, professor of government emeritus

View all past recipients of honorary degrees.