Past Honorees

Saint Louis University's history of conferring honorary degrees dates back to 1844. 

2016

Commencement Speaker: Kevin F. O'Malley
Doctor of Medical Sciences, honoris causa
U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin F. O'Malley, J.D. earned his bachelor's in political science in 1970 and his juris doctorate in 1973, both at SLU. 

Mary Jean Ryan, F.S.M.
Doctor of Public Service
A former member of SLU's Board of Trustees, Sister Mary Jean Ryan, F.S.M. is the retired president and CEO of SSM Health, which under her guidance grew into a $3.7 billion enterprise and became the first health care company in the country to receive a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

2015

Commencement Speaker: Garry Kasparov
Doctor of Laws

A true prodigy, Garry Kasparov was only 22 when he became the youngest person ever to earn the title of undisputed World Chess Champion, a premier post that he would hold for nearly a decade.

Anita Lyons Bond
Doctor of Humanities

Anita Lyons Bond is one of the first African-Americans to graduate from Saint Louis University following SLU's official integration in 1944.

Gene Kranz
Doctor of Science

A 1954 graduate of SLU's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, Gene Kranz was NASA's mission control commander when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.

2014

Commencement Speaker: Jimmie Edwards
Doctor of Laws 

On the bench for more than two decades, Judge Jimmie Edwards is the founder of the Innovative Concept Academy, a school of last resort for young people who have been expelled from the public school system or are under the supervision of the city's juvenile court.

Peggy Ritter
Doctor of Humanities

A 1961 graduate of SLU's Doisy College of Health Sciences, Peggy Ritter is one of the St. Louis region's most involved civic leaders.

David and Thelma Steward
Doctor of Humanities

One of the nation's most successful African-American entrepreneurs, David Steward is the co-founder of World Wide Technology Inc., which is among the largest minority-owned businesses in the United States.

Joseph Allen Tetlow, S.J.
Doctor of Humane Letters

An educator, author and spiritual director, Joseph Allen Tetlow, S.J., is considered among the world's leading authorities on Ignatian Spirituality and is the author of several noteworthy books about the subject.
 

2013

Commencement Speaker: John Foppe
Doctor of Humanities and Public Service

Born with no arms and substantial birth defects - and a supportive family that helped him develop a strong sense of independence - author and motivational speaker John Foppe (A&S '92, Grad '01) is the founder of Visionary Velocity Worldwide, an international corporate motivational company.

Metee Auapinyakul
Doctor of Business, Engineering and Technology

John Cook School of Business alumnus Metee Auapinyakul is co-founder of Banpu Public Company Limited, one of the most successful energy companies in Asia as well as its director and executive officer.

Chanin Vongkusolkit
Doctor of Business, Engineering and Technology

John Cook School of Business alumnus Chanin Vongkusolkit is co-founder of Banpu Public Company Limited, one of the most successful energy companies in Asia as well as its chief executive officer, president and director.

Joe and Loretta Scott
Doctor of Humanities

Through their Scott Family Foundation, Joe and Loretta Scott have supported a number of philanthropic endeavors and nonprofit organizations, including the cardiology center at St. Luke's Hospital.

2012

Commencement Speaker: James Martin, S.J.
Doctor of Humane Letters

The official chaplain of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, and author of two bestselling books, James Martin, S.J., has sought to make to make 500-year-old Ignatian spirituality relevant for modern audiences.

Doug and Ann Brown
Doctor of Humanities
Noted philanthropists, Doug and Ann Brown have devoted themselves to using their successes to help others.

His Beatitude Bechara Peter Rai
Doctor of Humanities

As the leader of nearly 15 million Maronite Catholics worldwide, His Beatitude Bechara Peter Rai is one of the most significant religious figures in the world.

Paul A. Young
Doctor of Science 

The chairman emeritus of SLU's Center for Anatomical Science and Education, Paul A. Young taught at SLU for more than 50 years.

2011

  • Commencement Speaker: Anthony R. Tersigni
    Doctor of Public Service
  • Brother Mel Meyer, S.M.
    Doctor of Fine Arts
  • Harlene E. and Marvin S. Wool
    Doctor of Humanities

2010

  • Commencement Speaker: Most. Rev. Pietro Sambi
    Doctor of Laws
  • Fr. Valentine Peter
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Sister Mary Antona Ebo, F.S.M.
    Doctor of Humanities

2009

  • Commencement Speaker: Greg Mortenson
    Doctor of Humanities
  • William H.T. "Bucky" Bush
    Doctor of Law
  • Nancy and Al Siwak
    Doctor of Humanities

2008

  • Commencement Speaker: Joe Buck
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Maxine Clark
    Doctor of Laws
  • Charles and Shirley Drury
    Doctor of Humanities

2007

  • Commencement Speaker: Lawrence "Yogi" Berra
    Doctor of Laws
  • Benjamin Carson
    Doctor of Science
  • Chang-Soo Huh
    Doctor of Laws
  • Joseph and Rosemary Shaughnessy
    Doctor of Laws

2006

  • Commencement Speaker: Chris Lowney
    Doctor of Laws
  • Maurice B. McNamee, S.J.
    Doctor of Fine Arts
  • Nasrallah Peter Cardinal Sfeir
    Doctor of Laws
  • Ruth and Frank Stroble
    Doctor of Humanities

2005

  • Commencement Speaker: Houston A. Baker Jr.
    Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Joe Edwards
    Doctor of Fine Arts
  • Bernadine Healy
    Doctor of Science
  • Floyd D. Loop
    Doctor of Science

2004

  • Commencement Speaker: Wolf Blitzer
    Doctor of Public Service
  • Clara L. Adams-Ender,
    Doctor of Science
  • Kathleen and Scott Hummel
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Bishop Robert J. Shaheen
    Doctor of Humanities

2003

  • Commencement Speaker: Bill McClellan
  • Martin L. Mathews
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Emily Rauh Pulitzer
    Doctor of Fine Arts
  • Frank Reale, S.J.
    Doctor of Humanities

2002

  • Commencement Speaker: Alice Bourke Hayes
    Doctor of Laws
  • Bishop Joseph Lee Han-taek, S.J.
    Doctor of Laws
  • Mary Ann Barrett Shanahan
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Michael F. Shanahan Sr.
    Doctor of Laws

2001

  • Commencement Speaker: Arnold L. Mitchem
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Richard Baron
    Doctor of Fine Arts
  • Margaret A. Farley, R.S.M.
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Elizabeth and Raymond Kalinowski
    Doctor of Humanities

2000

  • Commencement Speaker: August A. Busch III
    Doctor of Laws
  • Mary Adele Bruemmer
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Marilyn and Sam Fox
    Doctor of Public Service
  • Bishop Wilton D. Gregory
    Doctor of Humanities

1999

  • Commencement Speakers: Cokie Roberts and Steven V. Roberts
    Doctor of Public Service
  • Archbishop Joseph Pittau, S.J.
    Doctor of Laws
  • Hon. Ronnie L. White
    Doctor of Laws

1998

  • Commencement Speaker: Tim Russert
    Doctor of Public Service
  • Judith and Adam Aronson
    Doctor of Fine Arts
  • Frankie Muse Freeman
    Doctor of Laws
  • Judith and Dennis M. Jones
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Otto Felix Schwarz
    Doctor of Science

1997

  • Commencement Speaker: Anne Keefe
    Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Ira Herskowitz
    Doctor of Science
  • Richard J. Mark
    Doctor of Public Service
  • Mary Ross
    Doctor of Public Service
  • Janet D. Rowley
    Doctor of Science 

1996

  • Commencement Speaker: Michael Novak
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Daniel T. Barry
    Doctor of Science
  • Alfred Fleishman
    Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Ada Sue Hinshaw
    Doctor of Science
  • Harry Wu
    Doctor of Humanities

1995

  • Commencement Speaker: Jack Buck
    Doctor of Humanities
  • John E. Connelly
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Archbishop Justin Rigali
    Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Andrew Young
    Doctor of Laws (awarded Jan. 31, 1995)

1994

  • Commencement Speaker: Bishop Hays H. Rockwell
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Mildred L. Jamison
    Doctor of Humanities
  • John W. O’Malley, S.J.
    Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Donald M. Suggs
    Doctor of Laws

1993

  • Commencement Speaker: John W. Padberg, S.J.
  • Ian T. Jackson
    Doctor of Science
  • Sisters Mary Joel Kolmer, Shirley Kolmer, Kathleen McGuire, Agnes Mueller and Barbara Ann Muttra (posthumously)
    Accepting in their honor: Sister Mildred Gross
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Jacob Neusner
    Doctor of Humane Letters

1992

  • Commencement Speaker: Joseph Garagiola
    Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Mary Ann Eckhoff, S.S.N.D.
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Hon. Theodore McMillian
    Doctor of Laws
  • Kenneth D. Kaunda
    Doctor of Laws (awarded Oct. 14, 1992)
  • Gregorio Peces-Barba.
    Doctor of Humanities (awarded Oct. 23, 1992)
  • Rosa Chacel
    Doctor of Letters (awarded Oct. 23, 1992)
  • Javier Gurpide
    Doctor of Laws 

1991

  • Commencement Speaker: Edward J. (Ted) Koppel
    Doctor of Humane Letters
  • Hon. Charles Blakey Blackmar
    Doctor of Laws
  • Father Andrew M. Greeley
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Kathryn E. Nelson
    Doctor of Humanities
  • Paul H. Poberezny
    Doctor of Science
  • Jon Sobrino, S.J.
    Doctor of Humanities (awarded Feb. 25, 1991)