Main Navigation


U seeks nominations for the prestigious honorary doctorate degree.

By Annalisa Purser

More than 120 years ago, the University of Utah granted its highest honor, the honorary doctorate, to John R. Park, after whom the iconic Park building is named. He was the U’s first recipient of the honor and received it the year the University of Deseret became the University of Utah.

Since then, the U has granted 342 honorary degrees, and recipients have included the second female admiral in U.S. Naval history, a U.S. presidential candidate, an NFL quarterback, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, the president of Pixar Animation Studios, a state senator, a Nobel Prize winner and the world-record holder for reaching the summit of Mount Everest more times than any other person.

The University of Utah is now seeking nominations for the 2016 honorees. Honorary degrees are awarded to individuals who have achieved unusual distinction in academic pursuits, the arts, the professions, business, government, civic affairs or in service to the university.

Anne Cullimore Decker, Henry B. Eyring and Mark Fuller were the 2015 honorees. If you know of any individuals like these who should be considered for an honorary degree, please complete the nomination form along with a short biographic sketch of the individual and information about his or her relationship to the U by Sept. 28, 2015.

Anne Cullimore Decker

Henry Eyring 

Mark Fuller

Please note that current members of the state Board of Regents, current members of the U Board of Trustees and current members of the U faculty and staff are not eligible for this award.


Annalisa Purser is a communications specialist at University Marketing and Communications. If you have an interesting story idea, email her at