Wake Forest University Honorary Degree Recipient Nomination Form

Nomination Guidelines

Each year Wake Forest University recognizes men and women whose professional achievements and personal integrity reflect the values of the university, especially its motto Pro Humanitate, by awarding honorary degrees. As is our tradition, one of the honorees delivers the commencement address.


  • Nominations are welcomed from all members of the Wake Forest community — trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and volunteer board members.
  • Nominations from the Reynolda Campus may be submitted to the President, the Provost, the Vice President for University Advancement, or the Chair of the Senate Senior University Appointments Committee (SUA). Nominations from the Bowman Gray Campus should be submitted to the Senior Vice President for Health Affairs. All nominations will be forwarded to the SUA committee of the senate for evaluation.
  • Most frequently, candidates approved for honorary degrees have distinguished themselves in their careers, in service to others, or in both realms.
  • Scholars are excellent candidates, both those long recognized for their work, and occasionally, those younger scholars whose work gives indication of lasting importance.
  • From time to time, the university confers an honorary degree on a person who has been active in the greater Winston-Salem community and is recognized as having improved the quality of life for area citizens.
  • Currently serving and retired faculty and administrators are ineligible to receive honorary degrees.
  • Currently serving trustees are ineligible to receive honorary degrees.
  • Honorary degree recipients do not receive any form of compensation. If they do not live in  the Winston-Salem area, the university will provide for their travel, meals, and accommodations expenses.
  • Persons submitting nominations are asked to furnish a copy of the nominee’s curriculum vitae, resume, or detailed biographical sketch if neither a curriculum vitae nor resume is available, along with the nomination form.
  • The Senate Senior University Appointments Committee reviews nominations and recommends candidates to the senate for approval. Please do not inform your nominee of his or her nomination.
  • The President and Board of Trustees give ultimate approval to honorary degree candidates.
  • Honorary degrees are not awarded in absentia.
  • If a candidate cannot attend the ceremony to accept an honorary degree that has been approved, he or she must be re-nominated and re-approved to have the degree awarded in a subsequent year.


Should you have any questions about this form, please contact Melody Miller in the Office of University Events at 336.758.5698 or millermc@nullwfu.edu.