Mississippi State faculty, staff, students and alumni may submit nominations until Dec. 18 for honorary doctoral degrees that will be awarded at the university's spring 2021 commencement ceremonies. Nominations, including supporting materials, should be sent to the Honorary Degree Committee in care of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. Names of nominees will be kept confidential until they are approved.
Under IHL guidelines, persons eligible for the doctor of laws, doctor of science, doctor of humane letters, doctor of creative and performing arts, or doctor of public service must have demonstrated nationally recognized sustained achievement in scholarship, public service, creative and performing arts, or professional activity.
Faculty, staff and administrators of the university and elected or appointed public officials are ineligible for an honorary degree until one year after leaving their position. Candidates for public office also are ineligible.
Prior honorary degree recipients include, among others, John H. Bryan Jr., former chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Sara Lee Corp.; Leo W. Seal Jr., chairman and CEO of Hancock Bank in Gulfport; Harry Charles F. Simrall, dean of engineering at Mississippi State until his retirement in 1978; Dave C. Swalm, retired petroleum products company owner; G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery, former 3rd District congressman from Meridian; Hunter Henry, retired Dow Chemical Co. executive; Jack Cristil, radio play by play announcer for MSU football and basketball games for more than 50 years; James Worth Bagley, chairman and CEO of the Lam Research Corporation; Myrna Colley Lee, acclaimed theatrical designer; Fred E. Carl Jr., founder of Viking Range Corp.; Richard C. Adkerson, president and CEO of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc.; Bobby S. Shackouls, retired chairman, president and CEO of Burlington Resources Inc.; Earnest W. "Earnie" Deavenport, retired chairman and CEO of Eastman Chemical Company; Richard Holmes, the first African American student to attend Mississippi State who went on to hold a distinguished career in medicine; Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme; Frank J. Williams, Chief Justice (retired) of the Rhode Island Supreme Court; Kenneth D. Johnson, U.S. Air Force, Colonel (Retired); and Hassell Franklin, chairman and CEO of Franklin Corporation.
For more information or with questions, contact the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President at 662-325-3742.