List of Hofstra University honorary degree recipients

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This is a list of notable honorary degree recipients from Hofstra University in New York.


denotes alumni of Hofstra


Recipient Year Notability
Robert Moses 1948 New York Park Commissioner and Chairman of the Long Island State Park Commission
Trygve Lie 1949 United Nations Secretary-General
Walter Bedell Smith 1949 Commander of the First Army and Ambassador to Russia


Recipient Year Notability
Robert P. Patterson 1950 Former Secretary of War
Dwight D. Eisenhower 1950 President of Columbia University and Former Army Chief of Staff
Aymar Embury II 1951 Architect of the Whitestone and Triborough Bridges
William Henry Harrison (architect) 1951 Head of the National Defense Production Administration
Harry Woodburn Chase 1951 Chancellor of New York University
Arthur S. Adams 1952 President of the American Council on Education
Cornelia Otis Skinner 1952 Writer and actress
John W. Davis 1953 Former United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Carroll Vincent Newsom 1953 Associate Commissioner for Higher Education in New York State
John Mason Brown 1954 Author and drama critic
Ward Melville 1954 Suffolk County industrialist and civic leader
Henry Townley Heald 1955 Chancellor of New York University
Joan Whitney Payson 1955 Philanthropist
Morris Bishop 1956 Professor of Romance Literature at Cornell University
Arthur A. Houghton Jr. 1956 President of Corning Glass Works
Harold Medina 1957 Judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
Milislav Demerec 1957 Director of the genetics department of the Carnegie Institution of Washington
James E. Allen Jr. 1957 New York State Education Commissioner
Charles B. Stone III 1957 Boss of the Continental Air Command
Thomas G. Bergin 1958 Master of Timothy Dwight College
Livingston T. Merchant 1959 Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs


Recipient Year Notability
Eric A. Walker (engineer) 1960 President of Pennsylvania State University
McGeorge Bundy 1960 Dean of Faculty at Harvard University
Arthur H. Dean 1961 Chairman of Cornell University Board of Trustees
George Emlen Roosevelt 1961 Trustee of New York University
Adlai Stevenson II 1961 United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Simon H. Rifkind 1962 Judge for the Southern District of New York
Sir Patrick Dean 1964 British Representative to the United Nations
Louis H. Bauer 1964 Former head of the American Medical Association
John Cranford Adams 1964 Hofstra President
Albert L. Nickerson 1964 Board Chairman of the Mobil
Robert Goheen 1965 President of Princeton University
Henry Viscardi Jr. 1965 Founder and President of Abilities Inc.
George L. Cadigan 1965 Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
Martin Luther King Jr. 1965 President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Jacob Javits 1966 United States Senator from New York
Henry Fairfield Osborn Jr. 1966 President of the New York Zoological Society
Stewart Udall 1966 United States Secretary of the Interior
Harry Frank Guggenheim 1967 Editor and publisher of Newsday
August Heckscher II 1967 Parks Commissioner of New York City
James McNaughton Hester 1967 11th President of New York University
Broadus Mitchell 1967 Economics professor at Hofstra
Robert G. Vosper 1967 Former President of the American Library Association
Sidney Dillon Ripley 1968 Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
James Pitman 1969 Former Member of Parliament
Edward J. Speno 1969 Member of the New York State Senate
Mary E. Switzer 1969 Administrator of the Social and Rehabilitation Service for the US Department of Health, Education and Wellness
George H. Williams 1969 President of American University


Recipient Year Notability
Elizabeth Koontz 1970 First African-American President of the National Education Association
Eugene Nickerson 1970 County Executive of Nassau County
Jacques Piccard 1970 Swiss oceanographer
James Herman Robinson 1970 Founder of Operation Crossroads Africa
Joan Ganz Cooney 1971 Co-founder of Sesame Workshop
Eleazar de Carvalho 1971 Music director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Hofstra Professor
John W. Gardner 1971 Former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare
Nancy Hanks 1971 Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts
Bill Moyers 1971 Former White House Press Secretary
Chiang Yee 1971 Professor of Chinese at Columbia University
Andrew Heiskell 1972 Chairman and CEO of Time Inc.
William J. McGill 1972 16th President of Columbia University
Howard A. Rusk 1972 Founder of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine
Tom C. Clark 1973 Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Elias James Corey 1974 Professor of Organic Chemistry at Harvard University
Clark Kerr 1974 Former President of the University of California
Cy Leslie 1974 Founder and President of MGM/UA Home Entertainment Group
Robert Nisbet 1974 Albert Schweitzer Chair of Humanities at Columbia University
Alan Pifer 1974 President of the Carnegie Corporation
Alan Schneider 1974 Theatre director
B.F. Skinner 1974 Professor of Psychology at Harvard University
Robert Coles (psychiatrist) 1975 Professor at Harvard Medical School
John Houseman 1975 Actor, producer
Aryeh Neier 1975 Co-Founder of Human Rights Watch
James Pitman 1975 Chief of the Department of Medicine at Winthrop University Hospital
Joachim Prinz 1975 Former President of the American Jewish Congress
Walter Sullivan 1975 Professor of English at Vanderbilt University
Elie Wiesel 1975 Holocaust survivor, author of Night
Frank Zarb 1975 Administrator of the Federal Energy Administration
Daniel Patrick Moynihan 1976 United States Ambassador to the United Nations
James Watson 1976 Director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Francis Ford Coppola 1977 Film director
William Atwood 1978 Former United States Ambassador to Guinea and Kenya
William M. Batten 1978 Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange
Mary Calderone 1978 President and co-founder of Sex Information and Education Council of the United States
Robert Abrams 1979 Attorney General of New York


Recipient Year Notability
Isaac Asimov 1980 Professor of Biochemistry at Boston University
Arthur F. Burns 1980 Former Chair of the Federal Reserve
Bernard S. Meyer 1980 Justice on the New York Court of Appeals
Eugene Odum 1980 Professor of Ecology at the University of Georgia
Tamara Dembo 1981 Professor Emerita of Psychology at Clark University
Malcolm Forbes 1981 Publisher of Forbes magazine
Gerald Ford 1981 38th President of the United States
Samuel Pierce 1981 United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Felix Rohatyn 1981 Chairman of the Mutual Assistance Corporation
Neil Simon 1981 Playwright, screenwriter, actor
Sol Wachtler 1981 Justice on the New York Court of Appeals
Romare Bearden 1982 Artist
Courtney Blackman 1982 Governor to the Central Bank of Barbados
Françoise Gilot 1982 French painter
Jim Jensen 1982 Reporter
Robert Kibbee 1982 Chancellor of the City University of New York
Ray Kurzweil 1982 Inventor
Hugh Carey 1983 Former Governor of New York
Al D'Amato 1983 United States Senator from New York
A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. 1983 Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Herbert Kelman 1983 Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard University
James Tobin 1983 Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale University
Sanford Weill 1983 Founder of the National Academy Foundation
Siggi Wilzig 1983 Holocaust survivor, advisor to Elie Wiesel
Maryanne Trump Barry 1984 Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
Peter Drucker 1984 Clarke Professor of Social Science and Management at Claremont Graduate University
Alan Greenspan 1984 Economist
Theodore W. Kheel 1984 Attorney and labor mediator
Gloria Steinem 1984 Feminist and political activist
Robert T. Beyer 1985 Professor of Physics at Brown University
Ernest L. Boyer 1985 President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Tom Brokaw 1985 Anchor of NBC Nightly News
Raymond E. Brown 1985 Auburn Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies at the Union Theological Seminary
Wilson Goode 1985 Mayor of Philadelphia
Maxine Greene 1985 William F. Russell Professor for the Foundations of Education at Columbia Teacher's College
Arthur Levitt 1985 Owner of Roll Call
Carl Sagan 1985 American astronomer
Budd Schulberg 1985 American screenwriter
Arnold Burns 1986 United States Deputy Attorney General
Peter Kalikow 1986 President of H. J. Kalikow & Co.
David Laventhol 1986 Editor of The Washington Post
Harold Arthur Poling 1986 President of the Ford Motor Company
Francis T. Purcell 1986 Nassau County Executive
Arnold A. Saltzman 1986 American businessman
Barbara Walters 1986 American journalist
E.O. Wilson 1986 Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University
Rong Yiren 1986 Chairman of China International Trust and Investment Corporation)
Warren M. Anderson 1987 Member of the New York State Senate
Stephen Jay Gould 1987 Professor of Geology at Harvard University
George C. Pratt 1987 Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Jehan Sadat 1987 Former First Lady of Egypt
Les Wexner 1987 Chairman of Limited Brands
John Dingell 1988 Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan
Elliot Eisner 1988 Professor of Art and Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education
Galway Kinnell 1988 Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
Norman F. Lent 1988 Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York
Elliot Richardson 1988 Former United States Secretary of Commerce
Olin Clyde Robison 1988 President of Middlebury College
Whitney North Seymour 1988 American attorney
Whitney North Seymour Jr. 1988 Co-Founder of Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Edward J. Carlough 1989 President of the Sheet Metal Workers International Association
Nelson DeMille 1989 American author
John R. Dunne 1989 Member of the New York Senate from the 6th district
Marian Wright Edelman 1989 President and founder of Children's Defense Fund
Christopher Keene 1989 General Director of the New York City Opera
Ralph S. Larsen 1989 CEO of Johnson & Johnson
Charles Rangel 1989 Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York
Tony Rosenthal 1989 Abstract sculptor
Preston Tisch 1989 Chairman of the Loews Corporation


Recipient Year Notability
Rand Araskog 1990 CEO of the ITT Corporation
Wyche Fowler 1990 United States Senator from Georgia
Patricia Reilly Giff 1990 American author
Helen Hayes 1990 American actress
Damon Keith 1990 Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Gil Noble 1990 Television reporter
Harold J. Raveché 1990 President of the Stevens Institute of Technology
George Vecsey 1990 Sports columnist for The New York Times
Mimi W. Coleman 1991 Trustee Emerita of Hofstra
Helen Frankenthaler 1991 Abstract expressionist painter
Robert M. Johnson 1991 Publisher of Newsday
Geoffrey Palmer 1991 Former Prime Minister of New Zealand
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. 1991 Professor of Humanities at CUNY Graduate Center
Patricia Wald 1991 Former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Owen Bieber 1992 President of the United Auto Workers
Elizabeth Coleman 1992 President of Bennington College
Dolores Cross 1992 President of Chicago State University
Sandy D'Alemberte 1992 President of Florida State University
Jean Dalrymple 1992 American theater producer
Marilyn French 1992 American author
J. Bruce Llewellyn 1992 Chairman of the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Company
John W. Money 1992 Professor of Medical Psychology at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Thomas R. Pickering 1992 United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Harrison Salisbury 1992 American journalist
Susan H. Schulman 1992 Theater director
Walter Turnbull 1992 Founder of the Boys Choir of Harlem
Faye Wattleton 1992 President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Tom Wicker 1992 American journalist
David Dinkins 1993 Mayor of New York City
Cynthia Gregory 1993 Prima ballerina
Shari Lewis 1993 Ventriloquist
Siegmund Spiegel 1993 Jewish architect, war hero, and activist; Holocaust survivor
Harold McGraw Jr. 1993 CEO of McGraw-Hill
Martin Theodore Orne 1993 Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at University of Pennsylvania
L. William Seidman 1993 Head of the FDIC
Gus Tyler 1993 American columnist
Jack B. Weinstein 1993 Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Ellen Futter 1994 President of the American Museum of Natural History
Murray Kempton 1994 American journalist
Nicholas P. Samios 1994 Director of the Brookhaven National Laboratory
Herbert Stein 1994 American economist
William L. Swing 1994 United States Ambassador to Haiti
Robert Van Lierop 1994 American lawyer
Mario Van Peebles 1994 Film director
Melvin Van Peebles 1994 Film director
José A. Cabranes 1995 Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Georgie Anne Geyer 1995 American journalist
Faith Hubley 1995 Animator
Edward Regan 1995 Former Comptroller of New York
Phil Rizzuto 1995 New York Yankees shortstop
Michael Wigler 1995 American microbiologist
Jerome York 1995 CEO of IBM
Drew S. Days III 1996 Solicitor General of the United States
Charles W. Dryden 1996 Member of the Tuskegee Airmen
Gloria Foster 1996 American actress
Frederick Gluck 1996 Director at McKinsey & Company
Deborah Miller 1996 Adjunct Professor of Education at New York University
David Salten 1996 Consultant to Hofstra's President
Frank Stanton 1996 Former President of CBS
Jan D. Timmer 1996
Gary Becker 1997 Professor of Economics and Sociology at University of Chicago
Eddie Bracken 1997 American actor
Barbara Bush 1997 Former First Lady of the United States
George H. W. Bush 1997 Former President of the United States
Paul G. Hearne 1997 President of the Dole Foundation
Billy Joel 1997 American singer, songwriter
Michio Kaku 1997 Professor of Theoretical Physics at City College of New York
Lorraine Monroe 1997 Executive Director and Founder of the School Leadership Academy
LeRoy Neiman 1997 American artist
Edward Packard 1997 Author
Scott Ross 1997 Co-founder of Digital Domain
Martin Schröder 1997 Founder of Martinair
Stephen M. Schwebel 1997 President of the International Court of Justice
Percy Sutton 1997 Former Manhattan Borough President
William vanden Heuvel 1997 Chairman of the Roosevelt Institute
John Bierwirth 1998 Former CEO of Grumman
Horace Hagedorn 1998 Founder of Miracle-Gro
Kitty Carlisle 1998 American actress
Owen H. Johnson 1998 Member of the New York Senate from the 4th district
Marvin Kalb 1998 American journalist
Judith Livingston 1998 First female member of the Inner Circle of Advocates
Eugene Ludwig 1998 Comptroller of the Currency
Jonathan D. Moreno 1998 David and Lyn Silfen University Professor at University of Pennsylvania
Bobby Muller 1998 Founder of International Campaign to Ban Landmines
Guy Stern 1998 Professor of German Literature and Cultural History at Wayne State University
Robert L. Bernstein 1999 Founding Chair Emeritus of Human Rights Watch
Schuyler Chapin 1999 Cultural Affairs Commissioner of New York City
Larry Gelbart 1999 Creator of M*A*S*H
John R. McGann 1999 Bishop of Rockville Centre
Chuck Schumer 1999 United States Senator from New York
Muriel Siebert 1999 First woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange
Beatrice Wright 1999 American psychologist


Recipient Year Notability
Stephen E. Ambrose 2000 American biographer
Richard C. Casey 2000 Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Cy Coleman 2000 American composer
Maurice R. Greenberg 2000 CEO of American International Group
Kemp Hannon 2000 Member of the New York Senate from the 6th district
Jeffrey Lyons 2000 Theater critic
John Marburger 2000 Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory
Carl McCall 2000 Comptroller of New York
Margaret Thatcher 2000 Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Jonathan Fanton 2001 President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Judith Kaye 2001 Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
Joseph M. Margiotta 2001 Former New York State Assemblyman
Sharon Oster 2001 Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Yale School of Management
Bruce William Stillman 2001 Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Susan Sullivan 2001 American actress
Joseph Bologna 2002 American actor
Woody Johnson 2002 Owner of the New York Jets
Carolyn McCarthy 2002 Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 4th district
Bernadette Peters 2002 American actress
Richard Rorty 2002 Professor of Comparative Literature at Stanford University
Jim Simons 2002 Founder of Renaissance Technologies
Renée Taylor 2002 American actress
Mary Jo White 2002 United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York
Norm Coleman 2003 United States Senator from Minnesota
Brian Dennehy 2003 American actor
Cokie Roberts 2003 American journalist
E. L. Doctorow 2004 American novelist
Lou Dobbs 2004 American television commentator
Robert Kaufman 2004 American screenwriter
Eliot Spitzer 2004 Attorney General of New York
Chris Albrecht 2005 CEO and Chairman of HBO
Avi Arad 2005 Founder of Marvel Studios
Bill Clinton 2005 Former President of the United States
Michael J. Dowling 2005 President and CEO of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System
Michael Oxley 2006 Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio's 4th district
David Paterson 2006 Member of the New York Senate from the 30th district
Morton O. Schapiro 2006 President of Williams College
Sonia Sotomayor 2006 Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Kenneth I. Chenault 2007 CEO of American Express
Christine M. Durham 2007 Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court
David Neeleman 2007 CEO of JetBlue
Eric Schmertz 2007 Former Dean of Hofstra Law School
Martin J. Sullivan 2008 CEO of American International Group
Thomas DiNapoli 2009 New York State Comptroller
Wallace B. Jefferson 2009 Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
Nicholas Negroponte 2009 Founder of the MIT Media Lab
Paul H. O'Neill 2009 Former United States Secretary of the Treasury
Bob Schieffer 2009 Moderator of Face the Nation


Recipient Year Notability
Ajaypal Singh Banga 2010 President and CEO of Mastercard
Howard Dean 2010 Former Governor of Vermont
Saul Katz 2010 President of the New York Mets
Jan Peter Balkenende 2011 Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
Irwin Redlener 2011 Founder of the Children's Health Fund
Philip Rosenthal 2011 Creator of Everybody Loves Raymond
Douglas Brinkley 2012 Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities at Rice University
Jonathan Lippman 2012 Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
Les Moonves 2012 CEO of CBS Corporation
Nicholas Garaufis 2013 Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Phil Schiliro 2013 Former White House Director of Legislative Affairs
Jared Kushner 2014 CEO of Kushner Companies
Pele 2014[1] Footballer and humanitarian
Peter Baker 2015 Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times
Herman A. Berliner 2015 Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Hofstra
Vernon Jordan 2015 Senior Managing Director of Lazard Frères & Co. LLC
Sallie Manzanet-Daniels 2015 Associate Justice of the First Judicial Department
Kathleen Rice 2015 Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 4th district
Kathy Hochul 2016 Lieutenant Governor of New York
Steve Israel 2016 Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York
Kevin J. Tracey 2016 CEO of Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Jill Biden 2017 Second Lady of the United States
Mariko Silver 2017 President of Bennington College
Madeline Singas 2017 District Attorney of Nassau County
Janet DiFiore 2018 Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
Mike Massimino 2018 Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University
Scott Rechler 2018 CEO and Chairman of RXR Realty
Wolf Blitzer 2019 American journalist
Marcus Brauchli 2019 Former executive editor of The Washington Post
Roger W. Ferguson Jr. 2019 Former vice chair of the Federal Reserve
Joe Morton 2019 American actor


Recipient Year Notability
Kathryn Marinello 2021 President and CEO of PODS
Eric Adams 2022 110th Mayor of New York City
Letitia James 2023 67th Attorney General of New York
Sandra Lindsay 2023 Vice President of Public Health Advocacy for Northwell Health


  1. ^ Presented during a Conference at not at a Commencement. Ganci, Michael. "Pele' presented with honorary doctorate".