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  • About Honorary Degrees

    Each year, The New School awards honorary degrees to individuals who exemplify the interests and ambitions of the graduating class. As part of our commencement ceremony, celebrated figures are heralded for their unique contributions and formally decreed members of this scholarly community.

    Award recipients embody the university’s driving principles of academic freedom, tolerance, and creative experimentation. Like our students and alumni, New School honorary degree holders have included many bold innovators whose work across disciplines has addressed important contemporary issues.

    The University in Exile Award commemorates the rescue mission undertaken by The New School in the 1930s and recognizes national or international figures whose actions, public service, or writing have advanced the cause of democracy and human rights. The award focuses attention on the living traditions that have strengthened the university and contributed to a greater public understanding of the close relationship between learning and the struggle for a better world.