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Commencement and special awards past recipients

December 2019          
David G. Baldacci       

May 2019       
Andrew C. Florance     

December 2018          
Christy S. Coleman

May 2018       
Boris Kodjoe   

December 2017          
Speaker William J. Howell       

May 2017       
Sen. Timothy M. Kaine

December 2016          
Sec. Todd P. Haymore

May 2016       
Pamela K. El   

December 2015          
Sen. Mark R. Warner   

May 2015       
Gov. Terence R. McAuliffe      

December 2014          
The Honorable Kay Coles James          

May 2014       
Timothy L. Reid          

December 2013          
Tonya Mallory

May 2013       
Teresa H. Carlson        

December 2012          
Thomas G. Snead Jr.    

May 2012       
The Honorable J.C. Watts Jr.    

December 2011          
G. Richard Wagoner Jr.

May 2011       
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell       

December 2010
Mike Hughes   

May 2010       
Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned   

December 2009          
The Honorable Robert J. Wittman        

May 2009       
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

December 2008          
The Honorable Robert C. Scott

May 2008       
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine

December 2007          
The Honorable Marilyn B. Tavenner    

May 2007       
The Honorable James H. Webb

December 2006          
Nancy C. Everett         

May 2006       
Robert J. Grey, Jr., Esquire

December 2005          
The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder        

May 2005       
Richard T. Robertson   

December 2004          
The Honorable Eric Cantor      

May 2004       
Gov. Mark R. Warner  

December 2003          
The Honorable John W. Snow  

May 2003       
The Honorable Roger L. Gregory         

December 2002          
Eugene P. Trani, Ph.D.

May 2002       
James Burke    

December 2001          
Eugene P. Trani, Ph.D.

May 2001       
David Baldacci

May 2000       
David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.

May 1999       
Gov. James S. Gilmore III        

May 1998       
Ted Turner

May 1997       
Gov. George Allen      

May 1996       
Terence H. Waite

May 1995       
Maya Angelou

May 1994       
John Kenneth Galbraith

May 1993       
Louis W. Sullivan

May 1992       
Stewart R. Sutherland  

May 1991       
Fred W. Friendly

May 1990       
Clifton R. Wharton Jr., Ph.D.   

May 1989       
Marian Wright Edelman

May 1988       
John Brademas, Ph.D.  

May 1987       
The Honorable John Tower      

May 1986       
Sen. John W. Warner   

May 1985       
Father Timothy S. Healy

May 1984       
T. Justin Moore Jr.       

May 1983       
Robert A. Wilson, Ph.D.          

May 1982       
Malcolm S. Forbes Jr.

May 1981       
Baruj Benacerraf, M.D.

May 1980       
Richard C. Atkinson, Ph.D.

May 1979       
The Honorable Paul G. Rogers

May 1978       
Gov. John N. Dalton

May 1977       
Wyndham B. Blanton Jr., M.D.

May 1976       
Virginius Dabney

May 1975
Tom Brokaw

May 1974
Gov. Mills E. Godwin Jr.

May 1973
Sen. William Proxmire

May 1972
Sen. Gale McGee

May 1971
Academic Division ceremony
Ambassador John Joseph Akar

Health Sciences Division ceremony
Kinloch Nelson, M.D.

May 1970
Academic Division ceremony
Roy E. McTarnaghan

Health Sciences Division ceremony
Robert Q. Marston

May 1969
Academic Division ceremony
Francis J. Brooke

Health Sciences Division ceremony
Warren W. Brandt, Ph.D.

The honorary degree is VCU’s highest form of recognition. Presented by the president at Commencement, it recognizes those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to society through scholarship, public service, humanitarianism, science and art. The first honorary degrees were awarded in 1976.

December 2019    
No recipients    

May 2019    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Andrew C. Florance    

December 2018    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Christy S. Coleman

May 2018    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Boris Kodjoe    

December 2017    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Speaker William J. Howell    

May 2017    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters    
Ambassador Dana Shell Smith (Awarded at the VCU School of the Arts in Qatar Commencement exercise on May 1, 2017)    

December 2016     
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters    
Sec. Todd P. Haymore    
James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin        

May 2016    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Pamela K. El    

December 2015    
No recipients

May 2015    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Gov. Terence R. McAuliffe    

December 2014     
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
The Honorable Kay Coles James    

May 2014    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Timothy L. Reid    

December 2013    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Tonya Mallory    

May 2013    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Teresa H. Carlson    

December 2012    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Thomas G. Snead Jr.    

May 2012    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
The Honorable J.C. Watts Jr.    

December 2011    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Richard M. Bracken
G. Richard Wagoner Jr.

June 2011    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
C. Kenneth Wright (Awarded at a special event on June 10, 2011)    

May 2011    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Gov. Robert F. McDonnell    

December 2010
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Mike Hughes    

May 2010    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Ellis Marsalis Jr.

December 2009    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
The Honorable Robert J. Wittman    

May 2009    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters    
Charles F. Bryan Jr., Ph.D.
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.    
Eugene P. Trani, Ph.D.

December 2008    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters    
William H. Cosby Jr. (Awarded at a special event on Dec. 5, 2008, rescinded by the VCU Board of Visitors on Dec. 7, 2018)    
The Honorable Robert C. Scott

May 2008    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine    
Jonathan B. Perlin, M.D., Ph.D.

December 2007    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
The Honorable Marilyn B. Tavenner    

May 2007    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
The Honorable James H. Webb    

December 2006    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Nancy C. Everett    

May 2006    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters    
Robert J. Grey Jr., Esq.
The Honorable Harvey B. Morgan    
    
December 2005    
No recipients

May 2005    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters    
William H. Goodwin Jr.
Richard T. Robertson    
    
December 2004    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
The Honorable Eric Cantor    

May 2004    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Dean Kamen    
Gov. Mark R. Warner    

February 2004     
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters    
Shirley Verrett (Awarded at a special event on Feb. 28, 2004)
    
December 2003    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
The Honorable John W. Snow    

June 2003    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters    
Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned (Awarded at the VCU School of the Arts in Qatar Commencement exercise on June 12, 2003)    

May 2003    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
The Honorable Roger L. Gregory    
    
December 2002    
No recipients

May 2002    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
James Burke    

December 2001    
No recipients
    
May 2001    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
David Baldacci    
Helen A. Thomas    
    
Feb. 2001    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Alan G. MacDiarmid, Ph.D. (Awarded at a special event on Feb. 16, 2001)
    
May 2000    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.
John M. Templeton Jr., M.D.    
    
May 1999    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
William John Hughes Butterfield
Gov. James S. Gilmore III
Daphne Maxwell Reid

May 1998     
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Robert W. Galvin    
Max F. Perutz    
Ted Turner    
    
May 1997    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Gov. George Allen    
    
May 1996    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Mary Elizabeth Carnegie    
Martin Rodbell    
Terence H. Waite
    
May 1995    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Maya Angelou    
    
May 1994     
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
The Honorable Thomas J. Bliley Jr.    
John Kenneth Galbraith    
Richard G. Tilghman    

May 1993    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
William W. Berry
Mary Tyler Cheek    
Louis W. Sullivan    
The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder    

April 1993    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Mikhail Gorbachev (Awarded at a special event on April 12, 1993)
    
May 1992    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
The Honorable Norman Sisisky    
Stewart R. Sutherland    
Samuel O. Thier, M.D.    

May 1991    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters    
Fred W. Friendly    
Oliver W. Hill    

May 1990    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Clifton R. Wharton Jr., Ph.D.    
    
May 1989
Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts
Judith Godwin    

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Arthur Ashe    
Marian Wright Edelman    

May 1988    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
John Brademas, Ph.D.    
    
May 1987    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
The Honorable John Tower    
    
May 1986    
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters    
Floyd D. Gottwald Jr.
Sen. John W. Warner    

May 1985    
Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts
Nell Blaine    

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr.    

Honorary Doctor of Humanities    
Father Timothy S. Healy

May 1984    
Honorary Doctor of Laws
T. Justin Moore Jr.     

May 1983    
Honorary Doctor of Humanities
Frances A. Lewis
Sydney Lewis    
Thomas K. Wolfe
    
May 1982    
No recipients
    
May 1981    
Honorary Doctor of Science
Baruj Benacerraf, M.D.
    
May 1980    
Honorary Doctor of Science
Richard C. Atkinson, Ph.D.
    
May 1979    
Honorary Doctor of Science
Chapman H. Binford, M.D.
The Honorable Paul G. Rogers        

May 1978    
Honorary Doctor of Humanities
Theresa Pollak    
    
May 1977    
No recipients

May 1976     
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters
Virginius Dabney

Honorary Doctor of Laws
Eppa Hunton IV

The Edward A. Wayne Medal was established in 1971 to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions or provided exemplary services to VCU. Presented by the president at Commencement, the medal is named in honor of Edward A. Wayne, who was chair of the commission that led to the establishment of VCU in 1968 by the Virginia General Assembly. Mr. Wayne served as the university’s first vice rector.

May 2019
Marsha C. and William M. Ginther
Paul A. Gross

December 2018
Darlene B. and George P. Emerson Jr.
Laura B. and Harold E. Greer Jr., Ph.D.

May 2018
M. Virginia and Charles F. Crone

December 2017
Linwood A. Lacy Jr. and Constance C. Lacy

May 2017
Pamela K. and William A. Royall Jr.

December 2016
Olin V. and Jane Baird Hyde

May 2016
True Farr Luck and Charles S. Luck III

December 2015
William L. “Bill” Murray, Ph.D., and Jean Hovey

May 2015
No recipients

December 2014
Eva Teig Hardy

May 2014
Mary C. Doswell and John C. Dowsell II, D.D.S.    
Vickie M. Snead and Thomas G. Snead Jr.

December 2013
John B. Fenn*

May 2013    
Margaret and FitzGerald* Bemiss
Stuart C. Siegel

December 2012
No recipients

May 2012
Arthur Graham* and Margaret Branch* Glasgow
James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin

December 2011
No recipients

May 2011
John Sherman Jr.

December 2010
No recipients

May 2010
Ruth S. Harris and Louis S. Harris, Ph.D.

December 2009
No recipients

May 2009
Lois E. Trani

December 2008
No recipients

May 2008
The Honorable Benjamin J. Lambert III  
Michael and Elizabeth Fraizer

December 2007
No recipients

May 2007
Henry S. Becker
Sam Kornblau
W. Baxter Perkinson Jr., D.D.S., and Elaine N. Perkinson

December 2006
No recipients

May 2006
Steven A. and Katherine N. Markel
Stanley F. and Dorothy A. Pauley

December 2005
No recipients

May 2005
Peter W. Brown, M.D.            
Rebecca and William E. Massey Jr.
Matthew G. Thompson

December 2004
No recipients

May 2004
Fenton N. and Patricia H. Hord               
Jay M. and Sondra E. Weinberg

December 2003
No recipients

May 2003
Gilbert M. and Fannie S. Rosenthal

December 2002
No recipients

May 2002
Jim* and Martha Betts
Inger V. Rice
James C. and Charlotte K. Roberts        
C. Kenneth and Dianne H. Wright

December 2001
No recipients

May 2001
Bertha C. Rolfe

May 2000                                 
Harry and Harriet Grandis
Percy Wootton, M.D.

May 1999                            
Richard T. Robertson
John R. Shreves Jr.

May 1998                            
Robert C. Bobb
French H. Moore Jr., D.D.S.

May 1997                            
Jeanette S. Lipman
Alan L. Wurtzel

May 1996                            
Douglas Brickford Rider
James E. Ukrop
Robert S. Ukrop

May 1995                            
John R. Cook
E. Morgan Massey

May 1994                            
Harry I. Johnson Jr., M.D.

May 1993                            
William C. DeRusha

May 1992
No recipients

May 1991                            
Nathan Gumenick
Sophia Gumenick

May 1990                            
Charles G. Thalhimer
Rhoda R. Thalhimer

May 1989
No recipients

May 1988
No recipients

May 1987
No recipients

May 1986
No recipients

May 1985
No recipients

May 1984                            
William E. Massey Sr.

May 1983                            
Robert A. Wilson, Ph.D.

May 1982
No recipients

May 1981                            
Wyndham Bolling Blanton Jr., M.D.
Harry Lyons, D.D.S., D.Sc., LL.D.

May 1980
No recipients

May 1979
No recipients

May 1978                            
E. Claiborne and Lora McGlasson Robins
H.I. Willett

May 1977
No recipients

May 1976
No recipients

May 1975
No recipients

May 1974
No recipients

May 1973
No recipients

May 1972
No recipients

November 1971                            
Eppa Hunton IV

*Posthumous award

The Presidential Medallion was established in 1984 by the VCU Board of Visitors to honor the outstanding contributions of members of the university community. Presented by the president at Commencement, the award recognizes these individuals for extraordinary achievement in learning and commitment to the mission of VCU.

December 2019
No recipients

May 2019                            
Francis L. Macrina, Ph.D.

December 2018                            
Jan F. Chlebowski, Ph.D.*

May 2018
No recipients

December 2017                             
No recipients

May 2017
No recipients

December 2016                            
William C. Bosher Jr., Ed.D.*
John F. Duval
Clifford W. Edwards, Ph.D.

August 2016
Michael D. Davis, Ph.D. (Awarded at the 34th Faculty Convocation on Aug. 23, 2016)

May 2016
No recipients

December 2015
Sheldon M. Retchin, M.D., M.S.P.H.

May 2015                            
Thomas F. Huff, Ph.D.*

December 2014
George W. Vetrovec, M.D.
Richard P. Wenzel, M.D.

August 2014    
Robert L. Balster, Ph.D.
Eugene H. Hunt, Ph.D.
James H. Revere, Jr., D.D.S.
(All recipients were awarded at the 32nd Opening Faculty Address and Convocation on Aug. 20, 2014)

May 2014                            
Harold F. Young, M.D.

December 2013                         
No recipients

August 2013    
Nancy F. Langston, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, ANEF
H.M. Lee, M.D.*
James P. Neifeld, M.D.
(All recipients were awarded at the 31st Opening Faculty Address and Convocation on Aug. 21, 2013)

May 2013                        
No recipients    

December 2012                        
No recipients

May 2012                        
William L. Dewey, Ph.D.

December 2011                        
No recipients

May 2011                        
John M. Bennett
Judith B. Collins, RN, M.S., WHNP-C, FAAN
Donald C.J. Gehring, J.D.
Purusottam Jena, Ph.D.
Peter L. Wyeth

December 2010                        
No recipients

May 2010                        
Sue Ann Messmer

December 2009                        
No recipients

May 2009                        
Richard J. Rezba, Ph.D.

December 2008                        
No recipients

May 2008                        
Harold J. Fallon, M.D., M.A.C.P.
William E. Blake Jr., Ph.D.

December 2007                        
No recipients

May 2007                        
Carl R. Fischer
Hugo R. Seibel, Ph.D.

December 2006                        
No recipients

May 2006                        
JoAnne Kirk Henry, Ed.D., R.N.C.
Rupert K.A. Schmidt-Ullrich, M.D.*                    
Paul W. Timmreck
Paul E. Petrie (Awarded at the VCU School of the Arts in Qatar Commencement exercise on May 27, 2006)

December 2005                        
Richard Carlyon

May 2005                        
Heber H. Newsome Jr., M.D.

December 2004                        
No recipients

May 2004                         
Edward L. Flippen

December 2003                        
No recipients

May 2003                              
Leo J. Dunn, M.D.
Hermes A. Kontos, M.D.

December 2002                              
John E. Jones, M.D.
H. George White Jr., M.D.

May 2002                        
Clarence L. Townes Jr.
Jay M. Weinberg

December 2001                        
No recipients

May 2001                          
Jeffrey Levin, D.D.S.
Regenia A. Perry, Ph.D.
Lauren A. Woods, M.D.

May 2000                            
Walter Lawrence Jr., M.D.
Richard Newdick
W. Baxter Perkinson Jr., D.D.S.
Z. Reno Vlahcevic, M.D.

May 1999                            
L. Wayne Batty
Grace E. Harris, Ph.D.
W. Robert Irby, M.D.

May 1998                            
Edmund F. Ackell, D.M.D., M.D.
Carolyn Moore McCue, M.D.

May 1997                                      
Virginia Ann Arnold, Ph.D.
Warren W. Brandt, Ph.D.
W. Taliaferro Thompson Jr., M.D.

May 1996                            
Murry N. DePillars, Ph.D.
I. David Goldman, M.D.
Richard R. Lower, M.D.    

May 1995                            
Paul A. Gross
Louise L. Jones*

May 1994                            
Paule B. Marshall
John Legerwood Patterson Jr., M.D.

May 1993                              
Louis S. Harris, Ph.D.
Charles P. Ruch, Ph.D.

May 1992                             
John Andrako, Ph.D.
Howard L. Sparks, Ed.D.

May 1991                            
No recipients

May 1990                            
Wyatt S. Beazley III, M.D.
William W. Berry
J. Stewart Bryan III
Wallace Stettinius
James C. Wheat Jr.

May 1989                            
H. St. George Tucker Jr., M.D.

May 1988                            
Ernst Huf, Ph.D., M.D.
Elaine Rothenberg

May 1987                            
Jewett Campbell
Peter N. Pastore, M.D.

May 1986                            
Charles G. Thalhimer
Rhoda R. Thalhimer

May 1985                            
Kinloch Nelson, M.D.

May 1984                            
John A. Mapp                        
Daniel T. Watts, Ph.D.                

*Posthumous award

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