Honorary Degree 1011


The purpose of this policy is to establish the authority for the institution to grant honorary degrees.


Honorary degrees are degrees awarded in order to:

  • Bring national and statewide recognition to Longwood,
  • Recognize outstanding contributions to society through scholarship, artistic production or humanitarianism; and
  • Recognize major contributions in areas relevant to the mission of the University through significant research or a career of dedicated service.


Candidates for honorary degrees must have the qualities and records of achievement that would make their identification with Longwood and the recognition of the degree especially appropriate. The conferring of an honorary degree should bring honor to the institution, as it will honor the recipient. Consideration shall be given to qualified candidates without regard to race, color, sex, creed, or national origin.

  1. Excluded Groups: In the selection of candidates for an honorary degree, there are certain groups, which should be excluded from consideration except for extraordinary circumstances. These groups would include the employees of the University, current members of the Board of Visitors (BOV), and emeriti faculty. Further, benefactors and potential benefactors should be excluded unless they clearly meet the essential criteria, and there should be no suggestion that an honorary degree is being awarded to an individual because of past or possible financial contribution to the University.
  2. Authority: The BOV is the only entity of the University that confers an honorary degree. The decision will be made after collaborating with Academic Affairs and Faculty Senate representatives.
  3. Possible awards: Honorary degrees offered by Longwood University include: Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Letters, Doctor of Humane Letters, and Doctor of Science.

Approved by the Board of Visitors December 18, 1996.
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, September 14, 2012.