Honorary Degree Recipients
Each year during commencement, LIU awards honorary degrees to men and women who have distinguished themselves across a multitude of disciplines. Prior to being selected by the Honorary Degree Committee of the Board of Trustees, these individuals, whose accomplishments reflect the University’s mission of access and excellence, are nominated by students, faculty members and other members of the University community.
The awarding of an honorary degree, or a degree honoris causa (Latin “for the sake of the honor”), dates back to the Middle Ages. Past honorary degree recipients have included: master builder Robert Moses; musician, actor and activist Harry Belafonte; film director, producer and writer Spike Lee; astronomer and author Carl Sagan; former first lady and New York State Senator, and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; publisher Mortimer Zuckerman; Pulitzer-Prize finalist and author E.L. Doctorow; and music industry giants Ashford & Simpson.
This page contains access to lists of honorary degree recipients by campus and offers a comprehensive overview of the individuals who have served as an inspiration for the University’s graduating students, in addition to playing an instrumental role in contributing to society over the course of the University’s history.