Honorary Degrees Granted by the College

Harvey Mudd College awards honorary doctoral degrees in Engineering, Science, and Humane Letters (all honoris causa). Names of candidates may be submitted by anyone to the president by January 1. If the president supports the nomination, it must be brought to the faculty Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure (RPT) Committee by February 1 to be considered for the following commencement. The selection criteria state that the recipient:

  • Must have made extraordinarily distinguished contribution to the advancement of engineering, science, or a related field; or
  • Must have a record of extraordinary contributions to society consonant with the ideal embodied in a Harvey Mudd College education; or
  • Must have made extraordinary contributions of some form to Harvey Mudd College.

Honorary degrees are considered precious by the college community and are awarded with great selectivity.

The RPT Committee screens all nominations for honorary degrees, serving as the President’s Advisory Committee on Honorary Degrees. The committee advises the President of those candidates who, in its opinion, meet the qualifications for an honorary degree at the college. If the President chooses to recommend one or more of these candidates for an honorary degree, their names are given to an appropriate committee of the Board of Trustees following confirmation by the faculty. Thus, no name is presented to the full Board without screening by the RPT Committee and approval by the faculty, the President, and a committee of the board of trustees.

Recipient Year Awarded
Ralph M. Parsons 1971
Raymond A. Hill 1973
John Lee Atwood 1979
Joseph B. Platt 1981
Henry T. Mudd 1982
J. Arthur Campbell 1987
Joseph J. Jacobs 1993
Trude Taylor 2002
Henry E. Riggs 2006
E. H. Clark 2006
Mae C. Jemison 2007
Freeman A. Hrabowski 2010
R. Michael Shanahan 2011
Malcom Lewis ’67 2012
Barbara Patocka P00 2017
Richard Tapia 2017