May 2022

Mark M. Johnson 
Executive producer of more than 40 feature films and numerous television films and series and founder of the Children’s Action Network.
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters 

  Rita Dove 

Among the most celebrated poets in American history, standing out with her groundbreaking and iconic American voice. Her work has been praised for its profound examination of significant historical and philosophical questions through the illumination of everyday lives. 
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters 

May 2021

Mark P. Mattson   
Research scientist for his outstanding contributions to the basic and clinical science of healthy aging which have fundamentally changed how we think about lifelong brain health.
Honorary Doctor of Science 

May 2019

Mary Sue Coleman
Serves as president of the American Association of Universities (AAU); former president of the University of Michigan; former president of the University of Iowa 
Honorary Doctor of Science

 

Ellen Stofan 
[Delayed due to travel schedule; to be conferred at December 2020 commencement]
Leads the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; distinguished planetary scientist  
Honorary Doctor of Science

May 2018

Michèle Crider
Preeminent dramatic soprano and inspiring opera mentor
Honorary Doctor of Musical Arts

December 2017

Marilynne Robinson
Critically acclaimed author
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

May 2017

Martín-José Sepúlveda
Health care innovator in field of public health
Honorary Doctor of Science 

 

Ted Waitt
Computer entrepreneur and social philanthropist
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters 

May 2016

William "Bill" Bryson
Writer
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

May 2014

Leonard Hadley
Former CEO and Chairman, Maytag
Honorary Degree of Humane Letters

 

Manny Villifana
Biomedical device development
Honorary Doctor of Science

May 2013

John W. Colloton
Former CEO of UI Hospitals and Clinics 
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

 

Mary Louise Petersen
Former President of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa  
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

May 2012

Robert D. Ray
Former Governor of the State of Iowa
Honorary Doctor of Law

 

Robert Osterhaus
Former member of the Iowa State House of Representatives
Honorary Doctor of Science

 

Stanley F. Redeker
Former President of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

May 2011

Jerre Stead
UI benefactor 
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

 

Richard Myers
Former member of the Iowa House of Representatives
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

 

Gene Wilder   
[Mr. Wilder's award was approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, but was not conferred before Mr. Wilder passed away in 2016].

Actor
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters 

December 2010                  

Arthur Neu
Former State senator
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

May 2010

Tom Brokaw
Television journalist and author
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

 

Robert Hass
Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

 

C. Vivian Stringer
Forrmer UI Women’s Basketball Coach
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

 

Gregs Thomopulos
CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Stanley Consultants, Inc.
Honorary Doctor of Science

 

John Pappajohn
Entrepreneur and UI Benefactor
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

December 2009

Henry B. Tippie
Businessman and UI Benefactor
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

May 2009

Johan Hultin
Noted pathologist and medical researcher
Honorary Doctor of Science

December 2008

Himie Voxman
Clarinet legend and former director of the UI School of Music 
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

May 2008

Robert M. Solow
Nobel Prize for Economics
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

 

Orhan Pamuk  
[Mr. Pamuk's award was approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, but has not yet been conferred. The university hopes to host Mr. Pamuk so the award may be conferred in person.]
Nobel Prize for Literature
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

December 2007

Dr. Ignacio Ponseti
Orthopaedic Surgeon
Honorary Doctor of Science

 

Marvin Pomerantz
Philanthropist
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Note: No honorary degrees were conferred from June, 1981 to 2007.

June 1981

Willard (Sandy) Boyd 
President emeritus of the University of Iowa and professor of law
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

June 1969

Marquis W. Childs
American journalist and Pulitzer Prize recipient
Doctor of Letters

June 1968

Edward H. Levi
U.S. Attorney General
Doctor of Laws

June 1967

George H. Gallup
American public opinion statistician, originator of the Gallup poll
Doctor of Laws

June 1966

Walter P. Reuther
American labor union leader
Doctor of Laws

June 1965

W. Willard Wirtz
U.S. Secretary of Labor 
Doctor of Laws

June 1963

Dr. Richard E. Shope
Physician who discovered the virus associated with the 1918 influenza pandemic 
Doctor of Science

 

Lewis L. Strauss
American financier and chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission 
Doctor of Laws

April 1962

Earl Warren
Chief Justice of the United States
Honorary Doctor of Laws