HONORARY DEGREES AWARDED 1986-2006

 

Year

Name

Degree

Achievement

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 Ass’n

 

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 of Spelman College

 

Bess Loman 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 Alexander Okun

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

 

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 Day III

LL.D.

U.S. Solicitor General; Yale law professor

 

Clemmie Dixon Spangler Jr.

LL.D.

Public Service; Business

 

Reynolds Price

Litt.D.

Author

 

Bill Cosby

LL.D.

Actor, Entertainer

2004

Julius LeVonne Chambers

LL.D.

Educator, Civil rights leader

 

William Albert Graham Jr.

L.H.D.

Dean Harvard Divinity School, Scholar

 

William Octavius McCoy

LL.D.

Business leader, University vice president and acting chancellor

 

Maurice John Koury

LL.D.

Business leader

 

William Forrest Winter

LL.D.

Mississippi governor, humanitarian, 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

 

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