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Honorary Degrees

Agnes Scott Honorary Degree Criteria

The Committee on Honorary Degrees—consisting of the president, the vice president for academic affairs, the vice president for college advancement, a Faculty Executive Committee representative, the presidents of the sophomore, junior and senior classes, and the secretary of the board—solicits nominations for honorary degrees from the Agnes Scott College community. Nominations must include a statement regarding why the nominee deserves to be honored and a current CV of the nominee. The committee will consider all qualified nominations and will propose the degree candidate(s) to the Board of Trustees. In its selection, the committee will consider the significance the honorary degree might hold for the recipient. The trustees will make the final decision regarding the conferring of all honorary degrees.  Nominations are valid for three years.

The recipient may be a woman or a man, an alumna of the college and must be present to receive the degree.

The recipient in his or her life and achievements:

  • Should have made distinguished contributions to scholarship, public service or their profession.
  • Should reflect and uphold the mission of the college: thinking deeply, living honorably and engaging intellectual and social challenges of our times.
  • Should reflect the values of the college and provide a model for Agnes Scott graduates.

There should be no expectation that an honorary degree be awarded every year at commencement, nor is there a set number of degrees to be awarded annually.  No degree will be awarded posthumously.  No active trustee is eligible except under extraordinary circumstances.

Submit a Nomination

Past Honorary Degree Recipients


Marsha Norman ’69x          
Doctor of Humane Letters

 Hillary Rodham Clinton
U.S. Senator   
Doctor of Laws


Elaine L. Chao         
U.S. Secretary of Labor          
Doctor of Laws

Margaret W. Pepperdene   
Professor Emerita of English, Agnes Scott College
Doctor of Humane Letters


Bertha Merrill Holt ’38        
Attorney and Lawmaker         
Doctor of Laws

Beverly Daniel Tatum         
President, Spelman College    
Doctor of Science


Shirley Franklin
Mayor, City of Atlanta
Doctor of Laws

Elizabeth Wilson      
Mayor Emerita, City of Decatur         
Doctor of Laws


Helene Gayle           
Doctor of Science


Madeleine Albright 
Former U.S. Secretary of State           
Doctor of Laws

Gay Johnson McDougall '69x        
U.N. Independent Expert on Minority Issues
Doctor of Laws


Melanne Verveer
U.S. Ambassador for Global Women's Issues
Doctor of Laws


Katherine Lawther Krill '77
CEO, ANN INC.       
Doctor of Humane Letters


Soledad O'Brien      
Journalist, CNN News Anchor           
Doctor of Humane Letters


Luma Mufleh           
Founder, Fugees
Doctor of Laws


Constance W. Curry '55
Civil rights leader and attorney
Doctor of Laws

Andrew J. Young      
Civil rights leader; former U.S. Ambassador; U.S. Representative; Mayor, City of Atlanta
Doctor of Laws


Alexis M. Herman
Former U.S. Secretary of Labor
Doctor of Laws


Deborah Bial
President and Founder, The Posse Foundation
Doctor of Laws

Oprah Winfrey
Global Media Leader, Philanthropist, Producer and Actress
Doctor of Humane Letters


Elizabeth Kiss
Teacher, Scholar, Innovator and President Emerita, Agnes Scott College 
Doctor of Humane Letters 

Jennifer Nettles '97
Grammy-Award Winning Singer-Songwriter and Performer
Doctor of Laws


Saycon Sengbloh '00x
Tony-Nominated Actress and Singer
Doctor of Laws


Wonya Lucas
President and CEO of Hallmark Media
Doctor of Laws

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