honorary degree News

Astronaut Schmitt Receives Honorary Degree, Exhorts Grads to Lead the Way

Harrison H. “Jack” Schmitt was part of the last manned mission to the moon. Today, he shared lessons learned from that December 1972 mission with graduates of UT’s College of Arts and Sciences. During the Apollo 17 mission, the rocket that was to return home needed electrical signals to ignite. Schmitt and his fellow astronauts

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ORNL Director, FedEx Founder Awarded Honorary Degrees

A physicist and a business leader received honorary degrees from UT on Thursday and today and spoke to some of the university’s newest graduates, challenging them to be innovators—in their careers and in their lives.

Edelman Urges Grads to Make a Difference

Civil rights and social equality advocate Marian Wright Edelman urged graduates to do their part to make America “more just, more hopeful, more peaceful, more productive, inclusive, and unified.” Chancellor Cheek awarded Edelman an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters —the ninth honorary degree given by UT—at the College of Communication and Information commencement ceremony.

UT to Award Honorary Degrees to Social Activist and Actress

UT will award its ninth and tenth honorary degrees to social activist Marian Wright Edelman and actress Dale Dickey. Edelman will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and speak at the College of Communication and Information commencement. Dickey will receive an Honorary Master of Fine Arts in acting during a campus visit next year.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Alum Receives UT’s Sixth Honorary Degree

Pulitzer Prize–winning science journalist John Noble Wilford has told some of the world’s biggest stories since he graduated from UT almost sixty years ago. The first walk on the moon. The search for life on Mars. The Challenger disaster. Wilford—who received the university’s sixth honorary doctorate and spoke at the College of Communication and Information commencement ceremony on Wednesday—won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for his reporting of science and space exploration and again in 1987 as part of the reporting team that covered the space shuttle Challenger disaster. His New York Times front-page story about the first walk on the moon in 1969 is the most widely used account of the historic event.

Seigenthaler, Costa to Receive Honorary Degrees in May

A renowned journalist and an opera singer known as the voice of Sleeping Beauty will receive honorary degrees in May. The Board of Trustees today approved the degrees for Tennessee natives John Seigenthaler and Mary Costa. Seigenthaler will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree and speak at the College of Law commencement on May 10. Costa will speak and receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane and Musical Letters at the College of Arts and Science commencement on May 10.