Summary of Recommendations of Honorary Degree Working Group Approved by Colby College Honorary Degree Committee, Jan. 2016

The working group identified several areas intended to clarify and increase transparency of the nomination and selection process for all members of the Colby community.

The working group expanded on current criteria to create a set of guiding attributes that should be considered in determining whether nominees would be eligible for an honorary degree. The intent is for these guidelines to accompany the call for nominations of honorary degree candidates that goes to trustees, faculty, and students, with the understanding no individual nominee is expected to embody all of these attributes.

Honorary Degree Guidelines

  • Nominees for honorary degrees would normally exhibit one or both of the following attributes:
  • Preeminent professional, scholarly, intellectual, or creative achievement consonant with Colby’s mission, aspirations, and values in pursuit of that particular achievement.
  • Extraordinary contribution to Colby, education, or the public good, which might include volunteer service and/or philanthropy.

Colby is particularly interested in honoring individuals who:

  • Have demonstrated character and conduct reflective of Colby’s values.
  • Have connections to Colby and/or Maine.
  • Will help raise the visibility of Colby’s outstanding academic programs.
  • Have not necessarily been similarly recognized by many other institutions.

The working group recommends that the College explore the option of creating an online form to collect nominations and that faculty and student representatives to the committee play a more significant role in providing guidance to their colleagues and classmates during the nomination process, prior to bringing forth nominations. Faculty and student representatives should also report back to their faculty colleagues and fellow classmates after the subcommittee meetings providing as much feedback as possible without compromising confidentiality. 

February 1, 2016