Honorary Degree Policy

Submitting a Nomination for an Honorary Degree Award

If you would like to submit the name of an individual to be considered for an honorary degree, please complete our Honorary Degree Nomination Form. Submit your completed nomination to the Hardin-Simmons University Office of the President.

Office of the President – Box 16000
Hardin-Simmons University
2200 Hickory St.
Abilene, TX 79698

Criteria for Honorary Degree Awards

The University may award honorary degrees annually at its two graduation ceremonies. Generally, no more than three may be awarded. They can be divided between the two graduations in any way or could be presented at any one ceremony.

Honorary degrees will be based upon achievement in the individual’s field of endeavor and his/her exemplary Christian witness. Recipients will be selected in light of the fact that they will be representatives of Hardin-Simmons University and should thus represent its ideals.

The award of honorary degrees will not necessarily involve a commencement address. A citation will be read by an appropriate university representative, and the recipient may be asked to make a three-minute response.

Honorary degrees will not be awarded to active staff or faculty of Hardin-Simmons University.

Honorary Degree Selection Process


Nominations may be made by Graduate/Former Students, Current Faculty, Emeriti Faculty, Current Staff, Current HSU Board Members including: Board of Trustees, Board of Development, Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Board of Young Associates.

.Nominations and supporting materials must be submitted in writing to the President’s office by no later than September 15 or January 15. Nominations will automatically be eligible for consideration for three years. After three years, nominations must be re-submitted to remain eligible.

Honorary Degree Committee

The Honorary Degree Committee consists of four Trustees appointed by the Chairman of the Board and three faculty members appointed by the President of the University. The President of the University will be an ex-officio, non-voting member of the committee.

Committee Recommendations

The Committee will meet at the Fall Board meeting and at the Spring Board meeting (and/or at any time during the year) and may recommend up to three persons for honorary degrees to be awarded at the May and December commencements.

Approval Process

Faculty will review candidates submitted by the Committee before the Fall and Spring Board meetings. Candidates endorsed by the faculty will be voted on by Trustees at their next Board meeting. Candidates not endorsed by the faculty will be sent back to the Committee for further review. They may or may not recommend these candidates to the full Board.

In all cases, the decision of the Board of Trustees will be binding. All candidates approved by the Board of Trustees will be notified by the Office of the President who will schedule the awarding of the degree.

Throughout the entire process, up to the time of the official announcement, the strictest confidentiality shall be observed in all cases. All discussion regarding candidates should be limited to current faculty and trustees. The dignity and integrity of the institution and of the candidates should be honored throughout the process.