December 13, 2016

Dear Members of the Trinity College Community,

An honorary degree is one of higher education’s most significant accolades, awarded to those who have made enduring contributions to society and to the world through education, public or humanitarian service, arts and culture, business, medicine, philanthropy, the media, or other endeavors.  Trinity College awards honorary degrees, honoris causa, to distinguished individuals who demonstrate commitment to the humane and educational values that exemplify the mission of Trinity College.  We invite all members of the Trinity community to be a part of this process and to submit nominations for Commencement 2018.

Eligibility for Nominations

The President of the College, trustees, faculty members (individually or jointly), and members of the College community may nominate candidates to receive honorary degrees.  Honorary degree nominations for sitting faculty, trustees, or staff will not be considered.  No honorary degree shall be granted unless the recipient is present to accept it.  All nominations will be held in the strictest confidentiality, and a nomination to the committee does not guarantee selection or approval.

Commencement Speakers

Commencement speakers are ultimately selected by the President following review of the nominations by the Honorands Review Committee.  It is College practice that individuals delivering the Commencement address also receive honorary degrees; therefore, nominations for Commencement speakers follow the honorary degree nomination process.  On occasion, someone not being conferred an honorary degree may serve as speaker.

Please use the new online form to nominate an honorary degree candidate for Commencement 2018.  Nominations may be submitted until 5:00 p.m. on February 24, 2017.  Nominations submitted after February 24 and those not selected this year will remain under consideration for Commencements 2019 and 2020.  To view past Trinity College honorand recipients, please visit

Questions about the honorand nomination process may be sent to Jason Rojas, chief of staff and director of community relations, at [email protected], or you may call him directly at (860) 297-4166.


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College
Professor of Neuroscience