Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Nomination Process

Who would you like to address Rutgers' graduates in May? Let us know. Rutgers is now accepting commencement speaker and honorary degree nominations for the May 2022 and 2023 ceremonies at Rutgers University–New Brunswick (including Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences), Rutgers University–Newark, and Rutgers University–Camden. Because speakers will also be awarded an honorary degree, nominations for the university commencement speaker should also follow the guidelines for honorary degree candidates. Speaker nominees should be someone who is engaging and interesting with broad appeal to a diverse audience.

One of the most prestigious honors any university can bestow is an honorary degree, a degree which is conferred honoris causa, that is, for the sake of honor. This degree recognizes an individual’s exceptional achievement or distinction in a field or activity consonant with the mission of the university. Through this major public action, the university is able to acknowledge worthy individuals of national and international acclaim whose accomplishments support the ideals of the university and serve as an example for our students, alumni, and society.

The university seeks recommendations of honorary degree and speaker nominees who reflect the cultural diversity and international character of Rutgers. We invite all members of the Rutgers community and the public to nominate candidates for consideration. We keep nominations confidential and nominees should not be contacted.

Nominations for the commencement speaker and honorary degrees to be awarded in May 2022 will be accepted until December 10, 2021; nominations for the May 2023 ceremonies will be accepted throughout the year. More information on the nomination process is available below.