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Honorary Degree Recipients, 1978 - Present

Year

Name

Degree

Achievement

1978 James Baxter Hunt Jr. LL.D. Governor of North Carolina
Oscar Knefler Rice LL.D. Kenan Professor of Chemistry
Rafael Montinola Salas LL.D. Asst. Secretary General United Nations
Berta Vogel Scharrer D.Sci. Prof. of Anatomy, Albert Einstein Med. Coll.
*1979 Donald Sharp Frederickson D.Sci. Director of NIH
L. Richardson Preyer LL.D. U.S. Congressman
Frederick Chapman Robbins D.Sci. Sr. Research Scholar Nat. Acad. of Science
Lewis Thomas D.Sci. President and CEO Sloan-Kettering Institute
1979 Robert Martin Coles D.Sci. Harvard research psychiatrist
John Hope Franklin LL.D. Professor; historian; author
Katharine Jocher LL.D. Sociologist and administrator
Robert Mayer Lumiansky LL.D. Scholar of English literature
Thelma Gwinn Thurstone D.Sci. Co-establisher UNC Psychometric Lab.
1980 Peter Bommarito LL.D. Int'l Pres. United Rubber etc. Workers, AFL-CIO
David Beers Quinn LL.D. Prof. Modern History emeritus, Univ.ofLiverpool
Donald Ray Seawell Litt.D. Pres. & Chrm. of Board, The DenverPost
Cecil GradyTaylor LL.D. Chancellor emeritus, LouisianaState Univ.
1981 James Edward Cheek LL.D. President Howard Univ.
Henry Armfield Foscue LL.D. Businessman and civic leader
Lawrence H. Fountain LL.D. U.S. Congressman
Sarah Ratner D.Sci. Biochemist
1982 William Patterson Cumming D.Litt. Prof. of English emeritus, Davidson College
George Herbert Hitchings D.Sci. Burroughs-Wellcome researcher and administrator
Myles Horton LL.D. Founder, Highlander FolkSchool
1983 Henry Parker Brandis Jr. LL.D. Kenan Prof. of Law; dean of Law School
Elizabeth Scott Cranston LL.D. Benefactor of UNC School of Nursing
Aloyisus Leon Higginbotham Jr. LL.D. Judge, USCourt of Appeals 3rdCircuit
Joseph Carlyle Sitterson LL.D. Chancellor emeritus; KenanProf. of History
Frank Henry Westheimer D.Sci. Chemist; Harvard professor
1984 George Richard Herbert LL.D. President of Research Triangle Institute
James Earl Jones Litt.D. Stage, screen, and TV actor
Frank Hawkins Kenan LL.D. UNC benefactor
1985 Mildred Cohn D.Sci. Biochemist; Inst. for Cancer Research
Elizabeth Hanford Dole LL.D. U.S. Secretary of Transportation
Blyden Jackson D.Litt. Prof. of English emeritus UNC
Emma Neal McQueen Morrison LL.D. Chair emeritus Roanoke Island Historical Ass'n.
James Dickson Phillips Jr. LL.D. Judge, U.S.4th Circuit Court of Appeals
1986 James Grubbs Martin LL.D. Public service
Harriet L. Rheingold D.Sci. Psychology
Ivan E. Sutherland D.Sci. Computer graphics pioneer
John Kenneth Terres D.Litt. Nature editor and author
1987 William Brantley Aycock LL.D. Educator
William Wallace Finlator D.D. Minister active in civil rights
Margaret Taylor Harper LL.D. Journalist; public service
William Neill Hubbard Jr. D.Sci. Medical statesman; president of Upjohn; dean
Samuel Talmadge Ragan D.Litt. Journalist
1988 James Evans Davis D.Sci. President, American Medical Assn.
Marian Wright Edelman LL.D. President, Children's Defense Fund
William Clyde Friday LL.D. Pre-eminent university president
James Bryan McMillan LL.D. US District Court Judge
1989 Minnie Miller Brown D.Sci. Pioneer in attacking rural poverty
Robert Francis Furchgott D.Sci. Pharmacological researcher
Robert Venturi D.Sci. Architect
1990 John Marsden Ehle Jr. Litt.D. Novelist
Gertrude Belle Elion D.Sci. Biochemist; Nobel Prize 1988
Allen Walker Read Litt.D. Linguist and lexicographer
1991 Federico Guillermo Gil Litt.D. Latin American scholar
Archie Green Litt.D. American folklore scholar
Charles Bishop Kuralt Litt.D. Television journalist
1992 David McClure Brinkley Litt.D. Television journalist
Shelby Dade Foote Litt.D. Novelist and Civil War historian
Sherman Emery Lee Litt.D. Oriental art scholar and museum director
Anne Ellen Queen LL.D. Educator
Thomas Franklin Williams D.Sci. Gerontologist
1993 William Jefferson Clinton LL.D. President of the United States
1993 Katherine Dunham D.F.A. Dancer and cultural anthropologist
Eugen Merzbacher D.Sci. Physicist
Carl Thomas Rowan Litt.D. Journalist
1993 Nelson Ferebee Taylor LL.D. Educator; business
Edwin Milton Yoder Jr. Litt.D. Journalist
1994 Daniel Terry Blue Jr. LL.D. Public service
Kenneth Lauren Burns Litt.D. Documentary filmmaker
Francis Sellers Collins D.Sci. Geneticist
Walter Joseph Harrelson Litt.D. Biblical scholar
Jane Shelby Richardson D.Sci. Protein scientist
Joseph Curtis Sloane Litt.D. Art historian
1995 Kenneth Merle Brinkhous D.Sci. Pathologist
Johnetta Betsch Cole LL.D. President ofSpelmanCollege
Bess Lomax Hawes Litt.D. Folklorist
Hugh Leon McColl Jr. LL.D. Banker
Louis Decimus Rubin Jr. Litt.D. Professor; publisher
Anna Deavere Smith Litt.D. Playwright, performance artist, professor
1996 William Franklin Graham D.D. Evangelist
Seamus Justin Heaney Litt.D. Poet
Rudolph Arthur Marcus D.Sci. Chemist; Nobel prize
1997 Erskine Boyce Bowles LL.D. White House Chief of Staff; investment banker
Rita Dove Litt.D. Poet; professor
Eugene Dominick Genovese Litt.D. Historian; professor
Alice Mitchell Rivlin LL.D. Economist; public service
William Doyle Ruckelshaus LL.D. Environmentalist; public service; business
Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson Litt.D. Folk singer
1998 Susan Pardee Baker D.Sci Public health
Richard Hampton Jenrette LL.D. Business; historic preservation; philanthropy
Betty Ray McCain LL.D. Public service
Elizabeth Spencer Litt.D. Author
Leroy Tashreau Walker LL.D. Educator
1999 William Warren Bradley LL.D. Public service
Marc Basnight LL.D. Public service
Damon Jerome Keith LL.D. Public service
Nina Woo Matheson D.Sci. Librarian
2000 Stuart Eliot Eizenstat LL.D. Diplomat
Joseph Leo Blotner Litt.D. Literary historian
Walter Horace Carter LL.D. Newspaper editor and owner
Charles Justice LL.D. Athlete
Daniel AlexanderOkun D.Sci. Scholar; educator
2001 Gladys Hall Coates LL.D. Public service
Dennis Barry Gillings D.Sci. Scholar; founder of Quintiles
William Edward "Billy" Taylor D.F.A. Musician
Thomas Grey Wicker LL.D. Journalist
David Satcher D.Sci. Physician; Surgeon General of the United States
**2001 Ricardo Lagos Escobar LL.D. President of Chile
2002 Julian Hart Robertson Jr. LL.D. Financier, philanthropist
Verne Edward Chaney Jr. D.Sci Physician and humanitarian
John Reid Edwards LL.D. United States Senator
2003 Drew Saunders Days III LL.D. U.S. Solicitor General; Yale law professor
Clemmie Dixon Spangler Jr. LL.D. Public Service; Business
Reynolds Price Litt.D. Author
William Henry Cosby Jr. LL.D. Actor, Entertainer
2004 William Albert Graham Jr. L.H.D. Scholar; dean Harvard Divinity School
Julius Levonne Chambers J.D. Attorney; civil rights pioneer
Maurice John Koury J.D. Businessman and philanthropist
William Octavius McCoy J.D. Businessman; interim chancellor
William Forrest Winter J.D. Former governor of Mississippi; statesman
2005 Nannerl Overholser Keohane LL.D. Scholar, Duke University president, feminist leader
Anand Panyarachun LL.D. Thai Prime Minister, diplomat, world leader
Peter John Gomes D.D. Preacher, author, minister of The Memorial Church, Harvard
Frank Borden Hanes, Sr. L.H.D. Philanthropist, author, business leader
2006 Joyce Conseen Dugan LL.D. Educator; Cherokee leader
Thomas Stephen Kenan III LL.D. Philanthropist
Robert Ray Morgan Litt.D. Author and poet
John Shelby Spong L.H.D. Author, clergyman
2007 Madeline Korbel Albright LL.D. Public Service; Diplomacy
H. Jack Geiger D.Sci. Physician; humanitarian
William Ivey Long D.F.A. Costume designer
Richard Wilson Riley LL.D. Public Service; educator
Dean Edwards Smith LL.D. Coach; humanitarian
2008 Peter Courtland Agre D.Sci. Medical researcher; Nobel Prize winner
Philip Palmer Green III D.Sci. Human genome researcher
Heather Munroe-Blum D.Sci. University administrator; psychiatric epidemiologist
Anthony Eden Rand LL.D. Public service; champion of the University
Jessye Norman D.Mus. Performing artist in opera and concert
2009 William J. Armfield IV  LL.D. Investment executive and philanthropist
Eli N. Evans LL.D. Writer on Jews in the south, nonprofit leader
Charles Sanders D.Sci. Physician and medical executive
Helen Maynor Sheirbeck LL.D. Native American activist and educational leader
Lee Marshall Smith Litt.D. Prolific southern author
Desmond M. Tutu D.D. Nobel Peace Prize winner and  South African anti-apartheid campaigner
2010 Paul Rizzo LL.D. Chair emeritus of Franklin Street Partners, a private investment management firm and trust company in Chapel Hill and former dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School
Eugene Roberts LL.D. Former national editor, New York Times, and executive editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
Fred Robinson L.H.D. Douglas Tracy Smith Professor of English Emeritus at Yale University
Patricia Timmons-Goodson LL.D. Associate justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*February 10, 1979, Convocation celebrating Centennial of University of North Carolina School of Medicine

**Special Convocation

Note: Often (but not always) an honorary degree is conferred on the commencement speaker. This accounts for a sixth recipient in some years.