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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Nomination Form

2018 Honorary Degree Nomination Form

This is our annual request for speaker and honorary degree recipient nominations for the Class of 2018 Commencement, as well as for future Commencement exercises.


The conferral of honorary degrees is a long-standing academic tradition at Rensselaer which not only recognizes individuals of singular achievement, but which also brings honor and recognition to the Institute.  We hope you will take a few moments to give some thought to those individuals who deserve to be recognized for their accomplishments, and then use the form below to submit your nominations.


Note that nominees will NOT be considered without the nominator's statement of reason for awarding the degree.


Also please attach any relevant biographical information about the nominee(s), such as "Who's Who" clippings, Internet biographies, education and background, and so on.

Nominations received by September 15, 2017 will be considered for the 2018 Commencement ceremony.

Tips for Selecting Candidates

The five categories for honorary degrees at Rensselaer are: Engineering, Science, Arts, Humane Letters, and Laws.  A candidate for an honorary degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute should have made an outstanding contribution to society, and should have made a significant contribution to his or her professional field.  Special attention will be given to candidates who have achieved outstanding success in fields that are related to the educational objective of the Institute.


Appropriate candidates should also embody the basic ideals of personal integrity and good citizenship that the Institute seeks for foster.  Commencement speaker candidates need to have strong oratorical skills.


Members of the academic/non-academic staff and active Trustees of Rensselaer are not eligible candidates.  A candidate must be present in person to receive the degree.


In addition, each degree recipient should be at least one of the following:

  • A major contributor to science, engineering, architecture, the arts, management, or public policy, exemplifying Rensselaer's tradition of excellence
  • An interpreter of science, engineering or architecture as a writer, artist, critic, humanist, or educator, including secondary school level
  • A leader in industry, or an innovator in the application of science and technology to the productive needs of society
  • An original thinker or influential spokesperson in relating scientific and technological activity to public policy and needs
  • An outstanding Rensselaer alumnus or friend who has shown special interest in and support of Rensselaer
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