Honorary Degrees

Williams has conferred honorary degrees since 1795. All members of the college community are encouraged to make nominations, from which each year the Honorary Degrees Advisory Committee recommends to the full Board of Trustees a group of potential recipients who have excelled in diverse fields and stand as inspiring examples for our graduating students. Each year one recipient delivers the Commencement address, and one delivers the Baccalaureate address.

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First name Last name Degree Year
Sarah Bolton DSC 2016
Eric Carle DFA 2016
Frank Deford LHD 2016
Carrie Hessler-Radelet LLD 2016
David Henry Hwang LHD 2016
Elizabeth Kolbert LHD 2016
Bryan Stevenson LLD 2016
Leehom Wang MUSD 2016
Ursala M. Burns LLD 2015
Gish Jen LHD 2015
Mario J. Molina DSC 2015
Deval L. Patrick LLD 2015
Karen Armstrong DD 2014
Gregory M. Avis LLD 2014
Michael R. Bloomberg LLD 2014
Steven Chu DSC 2014
Vishakha N. Desai LLD 2014
Edward B. Burger LLD 2013
Billie Jean King LLD 2013
Annie Lennox DFA 2013
Deogratias Niyizonkiza LLD 2013
Richard D. Parsons LLD 2013
Nancy A. Roseman LLD 2013
Stacy Schiff '82 LITTD 2013
David Brooks LITTD 2012
Toby Cosgrove DSC 2012
Anna Deavere Smith DFA 2012
Atul Gawande DSC 2012
Mary K. Grant LLD 2012
Marina Abramovic DFA 2011
Ann Escott Bancroft DSC 2011
Cory A. Booker LLD 2011
Ken Burns DFA 2011
Bruce M. Russett LITTD 2011
Margarito Teves LLD 2011
G. Wayne Clough DSC 2010
Martha Coakley LLD 2010
Adam F. Falk LLD 2010
Jay B. McInerney, Jr. LITTD 2010
Stephanie D. Wilson DSC 2010
Anne L. Garrels LITTD 2009
John Glenn LLD 2009
Tracy Kidder LITTD 2009
James M. McPherson LHD 2009
Clarence Otis, Jr. LLD 2009
James V. Taylor MUSD 2009
Frances Cairncross LLD 2008
Robert I. Lipp LLD 2008
Nawal M. Nour M.D., M.P.H. DSC 2008
Richard Serra DFA 2008