the six honorees, named in article

2024 Honorary Degrees

A mathematician and physicist, a novelist, an Asian American studies scholar, an environmental activist, a musician, and a civil rights advocate received honorary degrees. Watch/listen to recordings of their talks, and read the news story. 

About Amherst’s Honorary Degrees & Awards

Honorary Degrees

Amherst College awards a small number of honorary doctoral degrees at Commencement. Nominations for honorary degrees are received throughout the year from the Amherst College community and are reviewed by an expanded sub-committee of the Board of Trustees. The nominations cover a wide range of professions and always include some alumni. The trustees vote on the honorary degrees, which are usually presented at the Commencement Exercises. Past degrees have included Doctor of Divinity, Doctor of Humane Letters, Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Letters, Doctor of Literature, Doctor of Music, and Doctor of Science. To nominate a person for an honorary degree, please complete the nomination form.

2024 Honorary Degree recipient citations »

Medal for Eminent Service

Awarded by the Board of Trustees, the Medal for Eminent Service was established in 1934 to recognize exceptional service to the College over a great period of time, often in a variety of areas. 

2024 winner of the Medal for Eminent Service »

Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Teaching Awards

In 1997, Amherst College instituted the Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Teaching Moore Awards program to honor outstanding high school teachers and to express appreciation for the profession of teaching. At Commencement, the awards are presented to three outstanding secondary school teachers who challenged, inspired, and moved members of the graduating class. The recipients are chosen by a committee of seniors, faculty, and staff from nominations submitted by graduating seniors, and are invited to Amherst as guests of the College. The awards are named for Zephaniah Swift Moore, the first president of the College, and his wife Phebe.

2024 winners of the Swift Moore Teaching Awards »