Honorary Degree Recipients

Over the years, Union has been proud to award honorary degrees to a number of distinguished leaders, scholars and dignitaries who have advanced the world's thinking in important fields. We appreciate the ideas and wisdom these individuals have shared with the Union community and the impact they have made on society.

Below are some of our recent honorary degree recipients.


Arnold Weinstein, Edna and Richard Salomon Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Brown University, Commencement

Stanley Andrisse, Associate Professor of Endocrinology in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the Howard University College of Medicine, Commencement


Robin Queen, the Kevin P. Granata Faculty Fellow, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Polytechnic University, Commencement

Kate White '72, New York Times best-selling novelist and former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, Commencement

2021, June 20 for the Class of 2020

Patricia Hill Collins, Distinguished University Professor Emerita in Sociology at the University of Maryland - Doctor of Letters, Commencement

Juju Chang, Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News "Nightline" - Doctor of Letters, Commencement

2021, June 13 for the Class of 2021

Geraldine Richmond, Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon - Doctor of Science, Commencement

Sue J. Goldie, Class of 1984, Roger Irving Lee Professor of Public Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health - Doctor of Science, Commencement

Deborah Margolin, Playwright, Performance Artist and Founding Member of the Split Britches Theater Company - Doctor of Letters, Commencement

Susan Zirinsky, President and Senior Executive Producer of CBS News - Doctor of Letters, Commencement

Stephen C. Ainlay, the 18th President of Union College - Doctor of Letters, Commencement

Judith G. Ainlay, Director of Special Institutional Relations at Union College - Doctor of Letters, Commencement

Charles M. Lieber, Joshua and Beth Friedman University Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University - Doctor of Science, Commencement

John E. Sexton, President Emeritus of New York University and NYU's Benjamin Butler Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus - Doctor of Laws, Commencement

Tyler Jacks, Director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; David H. Koch Professor of Biology - Doctor of Science, Commencement

Gov. Charlie Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts - Doctor of Laws, Commencement

William H. Kimbel, Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and the Environment - Doctor of Letters, Commencement

Devin N. Wenig '88, the CEO-designate of eBay and the President of eBay Marketplaces – Doctor of Laws, Commencement

Marjorie Agosin, the Luella LaMer Slaner Professor in Latin American Studies and professor of Spanish at Wellesley University - Doctor of Letters, Commencement

Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator – Doctor of Science, Commencement

Morris E. Fine, the Walter P. Murphy Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering Service at Northwestern University - Doctor of Science, Commencement

U.S. Representative John Lewis – Doctor of Laws, Commencement

Clifford J. Tabin, professor and chair of the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School - Doctor of Science, Commencement

Dylan Ratigan ’94, Anchor and Co-creator of CNBC's Fast Money Program – Doctor of Letters, Commencement

G. Bingham Powell, Jr., President of the American Political Science Association - Doctor of Laws, Commencement

Judy Woodruff, Award-winning broadcast journalist – Doctor of Letters, Commencement

Marvin Bell, Published Poet - Doctor of Letters, Commencement

Alan F. Horn ’64, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Brothers Studios – Doctor of Fine Arts, Commencement

Mildred Dresselhaus, Institute Professor of Physics and Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Doctor of Science, Commencement

A list of past honorary degree recipients