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Honorary Degree Recipients

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. For a complete list, click here.


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 chairman 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

Paul A. Volcker, Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Doctor of Laws, Commencement
Martin L. Perl, Nobel Prize Winner in Physics & Professor Emeritus of Physics at Stanford University, Doctor of Science, Commencement

John S. Wold ’38, Trustee Emeritus – Doctor of Science, ReUnion Weekend
Ruth J. Simmons, President, Smith College – Doctor of Humane Letters, Commencement
John W. Dower, Professor of Japanese History, MIT –Doctor of Humane Letters, Commencement

Professor Richard Sorajbi, Professor of Philosophy, Oxford University, England – Doctor of Letters, Commencement
Charles Gibson, News Commentator, ABC News – Doctor of Humane Letters, Commencement

The Reverend Peter J. Gomes, preacher and lecturer, member of the Faculty of Divinity of Harvard University - Doctor of Laws, Founders Day
Professor James E. Underwood, Professor of Political Science, Union College - Doctor of Laws, Commencement

Theodore W. Berger `72, David Packard Professor of Engineering at the University Southern California - Doctor of Science, Founders Day
Roger H. Hull, President, Union College - Doctor of Laws, Commencement

Wolf Kahn, Artist - Doctor of Fine Arts, Commencement
Kevin Rampe, Class of 1988, Doctor of Laws, Commencement
Julia Alvarez, Poet and Novelist - Doctor of Letters, Founders Day

Philip Ball, Author, Scientist - Doctor of Science, Founders Day
Fred M. Rogers, innovator in children’s entertainment - Doctor of Letters(posthumously), Commencement

Cynthia H. Enloe, Professor of Government and Director of  Women's Studies at Clark University - Doctor of Laws, Founders Day
Jeff Greenfield, Political analyst and author - Doctor of Laws, Commencement

Lynn Margulis, Professor, University of Massachusetts - Doctor of Science, Founders Day
David A. Kessler, Dean, Yale University School of Medicine - Doctor of Laws, Commencement

Jonathan D. Spence, Sterling Professor of History, Yale University - Doctor of Letters, Founders Day
Kevin Klose, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Public Radio - Doctor of Humane Letters, Commencement