Honorary Degrees - Overview and Nomination Form

The conferring of Honorary Degrees at Queen's is a collaborative and community-based activity.  Anyone - faculty, students, alumni and community members -  can nominate a deserving individual for this honour.  The process is rewarding and support is available from the University Secretariat if you have any questions. Nominators of successful recipients play a role throughout the process, joining the recipient at the Convocation ceremony and at other events that day, a meaningful and moving experience for all involved!

Convocation dates and ceremony details are available from the Registrar's Office - ceremonies take place in June and October.

Please review the details below on how to nominate a candidate and what goes into a strong nomination package.

The Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees of Queen's University invites nominations for honorary degrees to all who qualify, including individuals from equity deserving groups such as women, Black, racialized persons and Indigenous Peoples, persons with a disability, and persons who identify in the 2SLGBTQ+ community, to be awarded at future convocations.

Queen’s University awards Honorary Degrees to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to societies or the university on a community, local, national, or international scale.  The contribution may be to the advancement of the candidate’s discipline or field of work, or it may be to the national, international community, or Indigenous communities or to the University’s mission, values, or goals. In reviewing honorary degree nominations, Queen’s University recognizes that outstanding contributions to a discipline or field of work might encompass non-traditional forms of achievement, though still extraordinary.

Those who are considering a nomination are encouraged to review the details below and reach out to the Secretariat office with any questions.

Selection Process - 2025

Nominations are now being accepted for consideration by the Honorary Degrees Committee in 2025, with a deadline of February 28, 2025.

Please complete the Honorary Degree Nomination form in full, details are below.

Eligibility Guidelines

  •     faculty and staff at Queen's are not eligible for nomination until at least three to five years after retirement
  •     an active politician is not eligible
  •     the person must be living
  •     nominations that reflect the diversity of Canadian society are encouraged

Nomination Form

To apply, complete the application form.  Please note that you will need to have your supporting documentation ready as a single PDF file to upload as an attachment to the application form.  If you have any questions about completing the process, please contact senate@queensu.ca for assistance.

A completed nomination form is essential and is all that is strictly required for submission to the Committee and the Senate.  You may include up to 15 pages of supporting documentation (curriculum vitae, letters of support, etc.) to assist in the deliberations of the Committee. 

To complete the form, you will be asked the following:

  •     Names and contact information of two nominators;
  •     Nominee name and contact information;
  •     A list of educational achievements and honours received by the nominee;
  •     A short summary of the nominee's career;
  •     A 500 word statement on the Reasons for Recommending the Award of an Honorary Degree; and
  •     Upload the supporting documentation as a single PDF file (optional).

Please take great care in completing the section "Reasons for Recommending Award of an Honorary Degree" since the Committee focuses on this section in making its selection.

Please note that in order to assure confidentiality nominators should not contact nominees.

If you wish, you can review the form prior to beginning the online submission - Honorary Degree Nomination Form 2025

The Policy on the Selection of Honorary Degree Candidates outlines in detail the criteria for consideration, exclusions, and responsibilities.

The Policy on Revocation of or Special Statements Concerning an Honorary Degree outlines the process for requesting either a revocation (for a living recipient) or the issuance of a special statement (for deceased recipients).

The Honorary Degrees Committee has the responsibility for reviewing nominations and making recommendations to the Senate for the awarding of honorary degrees. The membership is comprised of senior administrators, student leadership, and faculty representation.

For a complete listing of past recipients, please visit the Office of the University Registrar

Former prime minister Joe Clark shakes hands with Provost Matthew Evans after receiving his honorary degree while Principal Patrick Deane and Rector Owen Crawford-Lem look on (Fall 2023).

Joe Clark receiving an Honorary Degree

Queen's University/Bernard Clark