Honorary Degrees

2024 Recipients

Robert D. Daleo
Doctor of Humane Letters

Chair Emeritus, Fordham University Board of Trustees

Faculty Sponsor: Iftekhar Hasan, University Professor and E. Gerald Corrigan Chair in International Business and Finance

Read the Citation for Robert D. Daleo

Helen Prejean, C.S.J.
Doctor of Humane Letters

Author and Activist

Faculty Sponsor: Deborah W. Denno, Arthur A. McGivney Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Neuroscience and Law Center

Read the Citation for Helen Prejean, C.S.J.

Joseph Patrick Kennedy III
Doctor of Laws

U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland for Economic Affairs

Faculty Sponsor: Annika Hinze, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Urban Studies Program

Read the Citation for Joseph Patrick Kennedy III

Past Recipients


  • Stevie Wonder
    Doctor of Humane Letters
    Legendary Artist and Humanitarian
    Faculty Sponsor: Sophie Mitra, Professor of Economics and Founding Director of Fordham’s Research Consortium on Disability

    Sharon Greenberger
    Doctor of Humane Letters
    President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York
    Faculty Sponsor: Janna C. Heyman, Henry C. Ravazzin Professor of Social Service and Director of Fordham’s Ravazzin Center on Aging

    Regina Pitaro
    Doctor of Humane Letters
    Managing Director at GAMCO Investors, Inc.
    Fordham University Trustee Fellow
    Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1976
    Faculty Sponsor: Donna M. Rapaccioli, University Professor and Dean Emerita of the Gabelli School of Business

    Jennifer Jones Austin
    Doctor of Humane Letters
    President and CEO, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
    Fordham University School of Law, Class of 1993 
    This degree will be presented at the Graduate School of Social Service diploma ceremony on Tuesday, May 23.

    Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J.
    Doctor of Divinity
    Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Integral Human Development
    This degree will be presented at the Baccalaureate Mass at Rose Hill on Friday, May 19.

    Norman Francis
    Doctor of Humane Letters
    President Emeritus of Xavier University of Louisiana

    Jeh Johnson
    Doctor of Laws
    Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
    Partner, Paul, Weiss
    This degree will be presented to Jeh Johnson at the School of Law diploma ceremony on Monday, May 22.

  • Bill Baccaglini
    Former CEO of The New York Foundling
    Doctor of Humane Letters
    Speaker at the Graduate School of Social Service Diploma Ceremony

    Kim Bepler
    Philanthropist and Fordham University Trustee Fellow
    Doctor of Humane Letters

    Sr. Rosamond Blanchet, R.S.H.M.
    Area Leader and Former General Superior of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary
    Marymount College, Class of 1962
    Doctor of Humane Letters

    Calvin O. Butts, III
    Pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church
    Doctor of Divinity
    Speaker the University Commencement Ceremony

    Mandell Crawley
    Managing Director and Chief Human Resources Officer at Morgan Stanley
    Gabelli School of Business, Class of 2009
    Doctor of Humane Letters
    Speaker at the Gabelli School of Business Graduate Diploma Ceremony

    Patrick J. Foye
    Former Chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transit Authority
    Fordham College at Rose Hill, Class of 1978
    School of Law, Class of 1981
    Doctor of Humane Letters

    Wilton Cardinal Gregory
    Archbishop of Washington
    Doctor of Divinity
    Celebrant and Homilist at the Baccalaureate Mass at Rose Hill

    Laura Taylor Swain
    Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
    Doctor of Laws
    Speaker at the School of Law Diploma Ceremony

  • Lilian Fanjul de Azueta
    Founder, MIR (Mission International Rescue) Charities

    Admiral Michelle Howard
    J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Visiting Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University

    Steven Safyer 
    Former president and CEO, Montefiore- Einstein

    Edward Stroz
    Founder and Co-President, Stroz-Friedberg; Co-President, Aon's Cyber Solutions

  • James Martin, S.J.
    Editor at Large, America magazine; Author

    James Dwyer
    Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist, The New York Times

    Robert A. (Honorable) Katzmann
    Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

  • Ellen Alemany
    Chairwoman and CEO of CIT Group
    CEO of CIT Bank, N.A.

    Bob Casey
    U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania

    Yueh Chen
    Secretary of the J.T. Tai & Company Foundation

    Joseph P. Parkes, S.J.
    Provincial Assistant for Secondary and Pre-secondary Education for the Maryland USA Northeast Provinces of the Society of Jesus
    Former Fordham Trustee

    David Ushery
    NBC News 4 New York News Anchor

    The Honorable Pamela Chen
    United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York

  • Note: All names denoted by * are Fordham alumni.

    2018 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First NameLast NameOccupation
    Emanuel Chirico Chairman and CEO of PVH Corp.
    Patricia Clarkson Award-Winning Actress
    Sherrilyn Ifill President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
    Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R. Archbishop of Newark
    Marianne Kraft Principal of St. Athanasius School
    Louise Mirrer President and CEO of the New York Historical Society
    William S. Stavropoulos Former Chairman and CEO of the Dow Chemical Company
    Peter B. Vaughan Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School of Social Service
    Anne Wiliams-Isom CEO of the Harlem Children's Zone
    2017 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First NameLast NameOccupation
    Anne Anderson Ambassador of Ireland to the United States
    Joseph Cammarosano Professor Emeritus of Economics, Fordham University
    Anthony Carter Former Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion, and Chief Diversity Officer, Johnson & Johnson
    Michael Dowling President and Chief Executive Officer of Northwell Health
    Jane Iannucelli President of the Sisters of Charity
    Gregory Long Chief Executive Officer and the William C. Steere Sr. President of the New York Botanical Garden
    Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras and Head of the Pope’s Council of Cardinals
    Eric Schneiderman Attorney General of New York
    2016 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First Name Last Name Occupation
    Judith Altmann Holocaust Survivor; Vice President of the Holocaust Child Survivors of Connecticut
    Robert Battle Artistic Director, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
    Gregory Boyle Executive Director, Homeboy Industries
    Henry Cobb Founding Partner, Pei, Cobb, Freed & Partners; Designer of the Fordham Law School and McKeon Residence Hall
    Maurice Cunniffe Chairman and CEO, Vista Capital; Fordham University Trustee Emeritus
    Patricia David Managing Director and Global Head of Diversity, JP Morgan Chase
    Carol Keehan President and Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Health Association of the United States
    Loretta Preska Chief Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; Fordham University Trustee Fellow
    David Skorton Secretary, Smithsonian Institute
    2015 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First Name Last Name Occupation
    Douglas Brooks Director, White House Office of National AIDS Policy
    Hage G. Geingob* President, Republic of Namibia
    Matthew Goldstein Former Chancellor, City University of New York
    Judith Livingston Senior Partner, Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore
    William Loschert* Chairman of ACE UK Limited; Nonexecutive Director of ACE Underwriting Agencies; former Fordham Trustee
    Nana Lordina Dramani Mahama First Lady of the Republic of Ghana
    Thomas Moore* Senior Partner, Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore
    Michael Mullen Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
    Jaime Lucas Cardinal Ortega Archbishop of Havana
    Eugene Shvidler* Chairman, Millhouse LLC; Executive Chairman, Highland Gold Mining, Ltd.
    Mary Anne Sullivan* Partner, Hogan Lovells
    Dennis Walcott* Former Chancellor, New York Public School System
    2014 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First Name Last Name Occupation
    Stephen Bepler* Senior Vice President, Capital Research Global Investors, former Fordham Trustee
    Yvonne Cagle US Air Force Officer; NASA Senior Astronaut Physician and Researcher
    Denny Chin* Judge, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
    Mary Alice Hannan, OP Former Executive Director, Part of the Solution
    Nemir Kirdar* Founder, Executive Chairman and CEO, Investcorp
    Reynold Levy President, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
    Archbishop Diarmuid Martin Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland
    Constantino Martinez Former Major League Baseball All-Star, New York Yankees
    Sonia Sotomayor Associate Justice, US Supreme Court; Author
    Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle Archbishop of Manila
    Archbishop Rowan Williams 104th Archbishop of Canterbury; Master of Magdalene College, University of Cambridge
    Archbishop Anastasios Yannoulatos Archbishop of Tirana, Durres, and all Albania
    2013 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First Name Last Name Occupation
    Kaushik Basu Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Development Economics, World Bank
    Sally Bellet* President, Stein/Bellet Foundation
    Preet Bharara US Attorney for the Southern District of New York
    Dion DiMucci Musician, Dion and the Belmonts
    Richard Engel Chief Foreign Correspondent, NBC News
    Patricia Harris First Deputy Mayor, New York City
    Paulette LoMonaco, RGS Executive Director, Good Shepherd Services
    John Tognino* Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pepper Financial Group; former Merrill Lynch executive; former Executive VP, NASDAQ; Chair, Fordham Board of Trustees
    2012 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First Name Last Name Occupation
    Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser President, United Nations General Assembly
    Tony Bennett Singer
    John Brennan* Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and Deputy National Security Advisor
    Michelle DePass* Assistant Administrator, Office of International and Tribal Affairs, US Environmental Protection Agency
    Timothy Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York
    Eugenie Doyle* Professor Emerita of Pediatric Cardiology, NYU Langone Medical Center
    Jacqueline Novogratz Founder and CEO, Acumen Fund; Author
    Phylicia Rashad Tony Award Winning Actress, former Denzel Washington Professor of Theatre, Fordham
    Edolphus Towns Representative, US Congress; Leader of the Social Work Caucus
    2011 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First Name Last Name Occupation
    Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III President, Republic of the Philippines
    Glorya Kaufman Philanthropist; Founder, Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation
    Earle I. Mack Arts advocate; businessman; former US Ambassador to Finland
    Peter Pace Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
    George E. Pataki Former Governor, State of New York
    Steven E. Sanderson President and Chief Executive Officer, Wildlife Conservation Society; former Fordham Trustee
    Marian Seldes Tony Award winning actress
    Sviatoslav Shevchuk Head and Father of the Ukrainian Catholic Church
    Alex Trebek Host, Jeopardy!
    Brian Williams Anchor and Managing Editor, NBC Nightly News
    2010 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First Name Last Name Occupation
    Francis M. Campbell United Kingdom Ambassador to the Holy See
    Miguel Humberto Diaz US Ambassador to the Holy See; former professor of Theology
    Alfonso J. "Alfy" Fanjul Jr.* Chairman and CEO, Fanjul Corporation
    John K. Mara* President and Chief Executive Officer, New York Giants Football
    Mary McAleese President of Ireland
    Robert M. Morgenthau Former District Attorney of New York County
    Richard Ravitch Lieutenant Governor of the State of New York
  • 2009 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First Name Last Name Occupation
    Archbishop Bartholomew Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch
    Michael R. Bloomberg Mayor, New York City
    Tom Brokaw Broadcast Journalist; former Host - Today, NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press
    Joel I. Klein Chancellor, Department of Education, New York City
    Justin Yifu Lin Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, World Bank
    Frank J. Macchiarola Chancellor and former President, St. Francis College
    Joseph H. Moglia* Chairman, TD Ameritrade; Author
    Kathryn Wylde President and CEO, Partnership for New York City
    2008 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First Name Last Name Occupation
    Christina Seix Dow* Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Seix Advisors; former Fordham Trustee
    John P. Foley, SJ Founder and President, Cristo Rey High Schools
    Mario J. Gabelli* Founder, Gabelli and Company
    Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
    Ann Mara First Lady of the New York Giants and the NFL
    Rich Ross* President, Disney Channels Worldwide
    2007 Honorary Degree Recipients
    First Name Last Name Occupation
    William F. Baker CEO, Educational Broadcasting Corporation
    John L. Damonti* President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
    Archbishop Demetrios Primate, Greek Orthodox Church in America
    Richard J. Goldstone Chair, Commission of Inquiry Regarding Public Violence and Intimidation in South Africa
    Catherine R. Kinney President, New York Stock Exchange
    Archbishop Celestino Migliore Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
    Willie Larry Randolph Manager, New York Mets
    Joseph Volpe Senior Vice President, Giuliani Partners; former General Manager, Metropolitan Opera

About Honorary Degrees

Each year at the University Commencement, Fordham University honors several individuals by bestowing upon them an honorary degree. In addition, honorary degrees are also awarded during the year at special ceremonies. The awarding of honorary degrees is a way of promoting and advancing the University as a whole, and giving the University prominence and recognition among her publics. All honorary degrees must be approved by the Fordham University Board of Trustees.

Past recipients have been honored for qualities and achievements including:

  • Leadership in advancing the mission of Catholic and Jesuit education;
  • Excellence in education and specifically in the areas represented by the University’s undergraduate colleges and graduate and professional schools;
  • Contributions to furthering multi-cultural and international understanding;
  • Service to Fordham University;
  • Service to New York City and her communities;
  • Contributions to our nation and society that advance humanistic values.
Submit a Nomination

The University Commencement Committee solicits and screens nominees for honorary degrees to be conferred by Fordham University at the University Commencement. Recommendations from the University Commencement Committee are then made to the Fordham University Board of Trustees, which must approve the awarding of all honorary degrees from the University.

The membership of the University Commencement Committee includes members of the Board of Trustees, alumni, faculty, administrators, and students. The Committee is chaired by the University Secretary whose office provides staff support for the committee.

The University Commencement Committee may be contacted through the Office of the University Secretary at [email protected] or at 718-817-3010.