Honorary Doctorate Award

The "Guidelines for Selection of Nominees for Honorary Doctorates" outlined in this document have been established in accordance with "Policies and Procedures for Awarding Honorary Doctorates" adopted by the Board of Trustees of Western Carolina University on June 4, 1997.

While final authority and approval of recipients for the award of honorary doctorates from Western Carolina University is vested in the Board of Trustees, responsibility for developing recommendations of prospective recipients is assigned to the Chancellor of the University.

The Chancellor will appoint a university-wide advisory committee for consultation in this process. The advisory committee will include: one tenured faculty member from each of three colleges on a rotating basis, the Graduate Dean (or his/her designee), one representative of the administrative divisions on a rotating basis, and the president of the Western Carolina University Alumni Association (or his/her designee). In the event of a tie decision by the advisory board, the chairman of the Board of Trustees will cast the tie-breaking vote. The Chancellor will serve as chair of the advisory committee and will ensure that the following guidelines and procedures are observed:

1.  The Chancellor will develop and maintain a list of prospective nominees for honorary doctorates based on his/her comprehensive knowledge of individuals whose distinctive contributions and achievements would qualify them for consideration.

2. The Chancellor may solicit suggestions of potential nominees from the university
 community and friends of the institution.

3.  All nominations will stay in the file for consideration by the advisory committee for three academic years.

4. Strictest confidentiality will be maintained throughout the entire process. At no time should prospective recipients be informed or learn that they are being considered for this honor.

After consultation with the advisory committee, the Chancellor will prepare and present his/her recommendations, including specific degrees to be awarded and the commencement or ceremonial event for which the presentation is intended, for review and action by the Administration, Governance, and Trusteeship Committee of the Board of Trustees.

In keeping with established policy to limit the awards at any given ceremony, the Chancellor will ordinarily recommend only one or two recipients for each commencement or ceremonial event.

The Administration, Governance, and Trusteeship Committee will review the Chancellor's recommendations and subsequently present its recommendations to the Board of Trustees.

The Administration, Governance, and Trusteeship Committee will review these guidelines periodically and, consistent with established policy, may alter or revise them as it may determine appropriate.


Dr. Jane Schultz and Mr. Billy Schultz, Doctor of Education, December 2013
Lacy H. Thornburg, Doctor of Laws, May 2012
A. Douglas Reed, Doctor of Letters, May 2010
Marc Reagan Pruett, Doctor of Arts, May 2009
Josefina Maria Niggli, Doctor of Arts (Posthumously), December 2009
Gary Neil Carden, Doctor of Humane Letters, August 2008
Benjamin S. Ruffin, Doctor of Humane Letters (Posthumously), December 2007
Robert M. Failing, Doctor of Science, May 2007
Joe W. Kimmel, Doctor of Humane Letters, May 2007
K. Ray Bailey, Doctor of Education, December 2006
Dan Robinson, Doctor of Humane Letters, December 2006
Levern Hamlin Allen, Doctor of Humane Letters, August 2006
Tony Lee White, Doctor of Science, August 2006
Charles H. Taylor - Doctor of Humane Letters, May 2006
Sue Ellen Bridgers - Doctor of Letters - August 2005
Raymond E. Kinsland - Doctor of Humane Letters - August 2005
Blanton J. Whitmire - Doctor of Humane Letters - May 2005
Magaret S. Whitmire - Doctor of Humane Letters - May 2005
Gurney E. Chambers - Doctor of Education - May 2004
Joseph D. Crocker - Doctor of Humane Letters - May 2004
Sir Howard Cooke - Doctor of Education - September 2003 (Presented in Jamaica)
Adelaide Daniels Key - Doctor of Humane Letters - May 2003
Stephen W. Woody - Doctor of Humane Letters - May 2003
Sol Schulman - Doctor of Humane Letters - December 2002
James Arthur Beaty Jr. - Doctor of Laws - May 2002
Wallace N. Hyde - Doctor of Education - May 2002
Henry Richmond Harold Fowler - Doctor of Human Letters - January 2002 (Presented in Jamaica)
Mary E. Kneedler - Doctor of Science - May 2001
Irwin Belk - Doctor of Humanities - May 1999
E.J. Whitmire Jr. - Doctor of Education - May 1999 (Posthumously)
John A. Parris, Jr. - Doctor of Humane Letters - May 1998







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