Honorary Degrees

Criteria for Honorary Degree from Agnes Scott College
The Committee on Honorary Degrees—consisting of the president, the vice president for academic affairs, the vice president for college advancement, an FEC 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, may be 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 ASC 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