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Honorary Doctorate Degrees & Nominations

The purposes of honorary degrees awarded by the State University of New York are to:

  • Recognize excellence in the fields the degrees authorized at SUNY campuses as well as business, philanthropy, public affairs, and public service, which exemplify SUNY's mission;
  • Honor meritorious and outstanding service to SUNY, the State of New York, the United States, or to humanity at large; and,
  • Recognize those whose lives and significant achievements serve as examples of SUNY's aspirations for its diverse student body;
  • Elevate SUNY in the eyes of the world by honoring individuals who are widely known and highly regarded for achevements in their respective fields of endeavor.

In making a nomination of an individual for an honorary degree, please consider the following:

  • Nominees must be distinguished, and the person's achievements must be both relevant and appropriate.
  • Nominees who have made extraordinary contributions to the campus can be considered, but must have made significant contributions beyond the institution and the local region.
  • Service to the State University of New York is not sufficient justification alone for an honorary degree.

Except under unique and unusual circumstances, honorary degrees shall not be awarded to:

  • Members of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, the College Councils at the state-operated campus, the Board of Trustees of the State University college of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the Board of Trustees of the community colleges, during their terms of service to the university;
  • Members of the teaching or administrative staff, or any other employee in the university system while employed by the university;
  • Current holders of New York elective public office or active candidates for elective public office; and,
  • Individuals who have already received an honorary degree from the State University of New York.

More information on the guidelines.

Past Recipients

Invitation to Nominate a Person for an Honorary Doctorate Degree

Do you know of a distinguished individual whose achievements and/or contributions to society on the state, national or international levels justify them for an honorary doctorate degree from the State University of New York? If so, the Honorary Degree Committee at SUNY Plattsburgh is soliciting nominations for the honorary doctorate degree, which is the highest form of recognition offered by SUNY to persons of exceptional distinction.

The Honorary Degree Committee is accepts nominations. To submit a name, please provide at minimum a one-page convincing statement regarding the relevance and/or appropriateness of the nominee. Please include a justification why SUNY Plattsburgh should recommend the individual for an honorary doctorate degree. Detailed curriculum vitae, Who's Who entries, reviews or articles about the nominee's work, and/or list of major awards should also be submitted if possible.

All nominations submitted are reviewed by the college's Honorary Degree Committee. If a nomination is deemed appropriate, the nominator may be asked to assist the committee in completing the justification for recommendation. The president will review the committee's recommendations prior to submitting the nominees to the chancellor. The university-wide Committee on Honorary Degrees reviews all nominations submitted to the chancellor and then make a recommendation to the chancellor and SUNY Board of Trustees.

Please submit your nominations to:

Ken Knelly
Chief of Staff
Office of the President
Email: [email protected]

Mailing Address:

SUNY Plattsburgh
101 Broad Street
Plattsburgh, NY 12901

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