Recent Recipients


Commencement, May 8, 2017

  • Taylor Branch, LittD, Historian and Author
  • Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, ScD, Anthropologist and Primatologist
  • Claes Tingvall, ScD, Epidemiologist and Safety Pioneer
  • Natasha Trethewey, LittD, Poet and Scholar

Commencement, May 9, 2016

  • Raymond Danowski, LHD, Fine Arts Dealer and Poetry Collector
  • Temple Grandin, LittD, Animal Behaviorist and Autism Expert
  • Amartya Sen, LittD, Economist and Nobel Laureate

Commencement, May 11, 2015

  • Shirley Franklin, LLD, Community Leader and Former Atlanta Mayor
  • Billy E. Frye 54G 56PhD, LittD, Alumnus, Educator, and Renowned Administrator
  • R. Randall Rollins, LHD, Business Leader and Philanthropist
  • Salman Rushdie, LittD, Author, Professor, and Human Rights Advocate

Commencement, May 12, 2014

  • Ben F. Johnson III, LLD, Son of Emory and Champion of Civil Society
  • John Lewis, LLD, Congressman and Civil Rights Hero
  • Beverly Daniel Tatum, LHD, Psychologist and Spelman College President

Commencement, May 13, 2013

  • Marguerite Barankitse, LHD, Humanitarian, Guardian, Peacemaker
  • Rita Dove, LittD, Poet, Professor, Advocate of the Arts
  • Michael Graves, DFA, Eminent Architect and Designer

Commencement, May 14, 2012

  • Camille Billops, LHD, Artist, Innovator, Patron of the Arts
  • Benjamin S. Carson Sr., LHD, Physician, Mentor, Leader
  • James V. Hatch, LittD, Historian, Collector, Patron of the Arts
  • Catharine R. Stimpson, LittD, Author, Scholar, Teacher
  • Muhammad Yunus, LittD, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Advocate, Visionary

Commencement, May 9, 2011

  • William R. Beardslee, ScD, Physician, Researcher, Mental Health Advocate
  • Janet Napolitano, LLD, Public Servant, Lawyer, Leader
  • Martha Nussbaum, LHD, Scholar, Teacher, Philosopher
  • George Trakas, LHD, Landscape Artist, Sculptor, Environmentalist
Commencement, May 10, 2010
  • Donald M. Berwick, ScD, Physician, Health Care Advocate, Visionary
  • Melissa Fay Greene, LittD, Writer, Chronicler, Social Activist
  • Joseph Echols Lowery, DD, Peacemaker, Leader, Human Rights Activist
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, LLD, Public Servant, Environmentalist, Philanthropist
  • James D. Wolfensohn, LHD, International Business Leader, Humanitarian, Patron of the Arts
Commencement, May 11, 2009
  • Nancy Cantor, LLD, Scholar, Teacher, Leader
  • Vicente Fox, LLD, Diplomat, Collaborator, Visionary
  • David Satcher, ScD, Physician, Scientist, Advocate
  • Robert Spano, MusD, Conductor, Artist, Innovator
Commencement, May 12, 2008
  • Mary Jane England, ScD, Educator, Visionary, Advocate
  • Ernest J. Gaines, LHD, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Humanitarian
  • Bernard Marcus, LHD, Writer, Humanist, Teacher
  • Edward O. Wilson, ScD, Scientist, Scholar, Innovator