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Honorary Degree and President's Medallion Recipients

Honorary Degree Recipients

An honorary degree is the highest honor a university can bestow. The following individuals have been recipients of Doctor of Humane Letters degrees, honoris causa, for exemplary service to the University of Houston or society at large. 

2017
The Honorable Michael J. Cemo
Richard B. Davies, Ph.D.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

2016
Glenn T. Lilie
James Victor Samuels
Gilbert Russell Ybarra

2015
James McIngvale
Melvyn Wolff

2014
Dinesh Singh, Ph.D.

2013
Edith Irby Jones, M.D.
Belle Griggs Johnson
The Honorable Welcome W. Wilson, Sr.

2012
Gerald D. Hines
Brien A. Holden, Ph.D.
Nicholas J. Massad
Cristina Rivera Garza, Ph.D.
Ruth J. Simmons, Ph.D.

2011
Walter Kase
Kenneth Parr
Herman D. Suit, M.D.

2010
John Hofmeister
Lyle Lovett

2006
The Honorable Margaret Spellings*
Maconda Brown O’Connor*

2001
Charles T. “Ted” Bauer
James W. “Jim” Nantz

2000
Rod R. Paige, Ph.D.
Irvin M. Borish, O.D.

1999
Richard Riley
The Honorable James L. Ketelsen
Elizabeth D. Rockwell

1998
The Honorable Robert C. Lanier
The Honorable Wilhelmina R. “Beth” Morian
Dr. John Oró, Ph.D.

1997
Edward Albee
Glenn Goerke
The Honorable William P. Hobby, Jr.

1996
Ernesto Cortes
Dr. Song Jian*

1995
The Honorable John J. Moores
Nia Becnel**
His Excellency Carlos Menem*

1994
The Honorable George H. W. Bush
Daniel Yergin
Ron Stone

1993
Luis Garibay, Ph.D., M.D.
Rev. William A. Lawson

1992
Jacques-Louis Lions
Gurji Ivanovich Marchuk
David Gockley

1991
Faith Bybee
Christoph Eschenbach
Eric M. Hilton
The Honorable Catalina Villalpando
His Excellency Rafael Angel Calderon Fournier*

1990
Donald Barthelme**
Norman J. Ramsey

1989
The Honorable Robert A. Mosbacher, Sr.
Aaron Cohen

1988
Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson

1987
LeRoy and Lucile Melcher
Phillip G. Hoffman, Ph.D.

1986
Barron Hilton
Philip Johnson

1985
Gerald Griffin*
George A. Butler

1984
George P. Mitchell
The Honorable Oveta Culp Hobby

1980
Special Honorary Degree
The Honorable Aaron J. Farfel

1950
Special Honorary Degree
Edison E. Oberholtzer

1938
Special Honorary Law Degree
Hugh Roy Cullen and Lillie Cranz Cullen

* Honorary Degree awarded at a special convocation
** Honorary Degree awarded posthumously

President's Medallion Recipients

The President’s Medallion is awarded at the sole discretion of the President to individuals or organizations who have distinguished themselves by their support of the University of Houston. 

2017, May
Marvin D. Nathan

2016, May
(no award given)

2015, May
Rick Lowe
Robert A. Welch Foundation

2014, December
The Honorable Michael J. Cemo and Mrs. Rebecca Cemo

2014, May
(no award given)

2013, December
Inprint
Joan Suit, Ph.D., and Herman Suit, Ph.D. M.D.
Charles T. Bauer Foundation

2013, May
Harold L. Kohn, Ph.D.
Marvin E. Odum, III
Dennis Quaid
Ronald and Carolyn Yokubaitis 

2012, December
Jack B. Moore
Houston Endowment 

2012, May
Alonzo Cantú

2011, December
E. Kenneth “Ken” Bailey, Jr.
The Honorable Wilhelmina E. “Beth” Robertson
Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

2011, May
Richard E. Wainerdi, P.E., Ph.D.
Bernard A. Harris, Jr., M.D.
D. Ronald “Ron” Harrell

2010, December
Rev. William A. Lawson
Beth Madison

2010, May
Carl Lewis
Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Smith*
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

2009
The Honorable William P. Hobby, Jr.
Greater Houston Partnership

* President’s Medallion awarded posthumously