Doctor of Humane Letters

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The degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (Latin : Litterarum humanarum doctor; DHumLitt; DHL; or LHD) is an honorary degree awarded to those who have distinguished themselves through humanitarian and philanthropic contributions to society. [1] The DHL, like the Doctor of Divinity and Doctor of Laws degrees, is not an earned academic degree, but is instead awarded "honoris causa" ("for the sake of honour"). The practices and criteria for awarding the Doctor of Humane Letters degree differs between institutions, however it is typically awarded to individuals who serve as keynote speakers at university events, or to individuals associated with the institution. [2] This flexibility has resulted in universities awarding unique variants of the Doctor of Humane Letters degree; in 1996, for example, Southampton College awarded Kermit the Frog an honorary "doctorate of Amphibious Letters" in recognition for his contribution to children's education. [3] [4]

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Doctor (title) Academic title for a holder of a doctoral degree

Doctor is an academic title that originates from the Latin word of the same spelling and meaning. The word is originally an agentive noun of the Latin verb docēre[dɔˈkeːrɛ] 'to teach'. It has been used as an academic title in Europe since the 13th century, when the first doctorates were awarded at the University of Bologna and the University of Paris.

Postgraduate education involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees, academic or professional certificates, academic or professional diplomas, or other qualifications for which a first or bachelor's degree generally is required, and it is normally considered to be part of higher education. In North America, this level is typically referred to as graduate school.

An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college or university. These institutions commonly offer degrees at various levels, usually including bachelor's, master's and doctorates, often alongside other academic certificates and professional degrees. The most common undergraduate degree is the bachelor's degree, although in some countries there are lower level higher education qualifications that are also titled degrees and higher level.

Doctorate Academic or professional degree

A doctorate or doctor's degree or doctoral degree is an academic degree awarded by universities, derived from the ancient formalism licentia docendi. In most countries, a research degree qualifies the holder to teach at university level in the degree's field or work in a specific profession. There are a number of doctoral degrees; the most common is the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), awarded in many different fields, ranging from the humanities to scientific disciplines.

John Morton-Finney was an American civil rights activist, lawyer, and educator who earned eleven academic degrees, including five law degrees. He spent most of his career as an educator and lawyer after serving from 1911 to 1914 in the U.S. Army as a member of the 24th Infantry Regiment, better known as the Buffalo soldiers, and with the American Expeditionary Forces in France during World War I. Morton-Finney taught languages at Fisk University in Tennessee and at Lincoln University in Missouri, before moving to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he taught in the Indianapolis Public Schools for forty-seven years. Morton-Finney was a member of the original faculty at Indianapolis's Crispus Attucks High School when it opened in 1927 and later became head of its foreign language department. He also taught at Shortridge High School and at other IPS schools. Morton-Finney was admitted as a member of the Bar of the Indiana Supreme Court in 1935, as a member of the Bar of the U.S. District Court in 1941, and was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1972.

Degree abbreviations are used as an alternative way to specify an academic degree instead of spelling out the title in full, such as in reference books such as Who's Who and on business cards. Many degree titles have more than one possible abbreviation, with the abbreviation used varying between different universities. In the UK it is normal not to punctuate abbreviations for degrees with full stops, although this is done at some universities.

Doctor of Science, usually abbreviated Sc.D., D.Sc., S.D., or D.S., is an academic research degree awarded in a number of countries throughout the world. In some countries, "Doctor of Science" is the degree used for the standard doctorate in the sciences; elsewhere the Sc.D. is a "higher doctorate" awarded in recognition of a substantial and sustained contribution to scientific knowledge beyond that required for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). It may also be awarded as an honorary degree.

Honorary degree degree awarded as an honour, generally for attainment within the appropriate field

An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university has waived all of the usual requirements, such as matriculation, attendance, course credits, a dissertation, and the passing of comprehensive examinations. It is also known by the Latin phrases honoris causa or ad honorem. The degree is typically a doctorate or, less commonly, a master's degree, and may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous postsecondary education. An example of identifying a recipient of this award is as follows: Doctorate in Business Administration.

Post-nominal letters, also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles, designatory letters or simply post-nominals, are letters placed after a person's name to indicate that the individual holds a position, academic degree, accreditation, office, military decoration, or honour, or is a member of a religious institute or fraternity. An individual may use several different sets of post-nominal letters, but in some contexts it may be customary to limit the number of sets to one or just a few. The order in which post-nominals are listed after a name is based on rules of precedence and what is appropriate for a given situation. Post-nominal letters are one of the main types of name suffix. In contrast, pre-nominal letters precede the name rather than following it.

Doctor of Divinity

A Doctor of Divinity is the holder of an advanced academic degree in divinity.

Vartan Gregorian American academic administrator

Vartan Gregorian was an Armenian-American academic, educator, and historian. He served as president of the Carnegie Corporation from 1997 to 2021.

Doctor of Letters is a terminal degree in the humanities that, depending on the country, may be considered equivalent to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or equal to a higher doctorate, such as the Doctor of Science. It is awarded in many countries by universities and learned bodies in recognition of superior accomplishment in the humanities, original contributions to the creative or cultural arts, or scholarship and other merits. It may be conferred as an earned degree upon the completion of a regular doctoral course of study, usually including the development and defense of an original dissertation, or may be conferred as an earned higher doctorate after the submission and academic evaluation of a portfolio of sustained scholarship, publications, research, or other scientific work of the highest caliber.

Earl Lewis is the founding director of the Center for Social Solutions and professor of history at the University of Michigan. He was president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation from 2013 to 2018. Before his appointment as the president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lewis served for over eight years as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and as the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of History and African American Studies at Emory University. He was the university's first African-American provost and at the time the highest-ranking African-American administrator in the university's history.

James J. Whalen was an American psychologist and educational administrator who served as president of Ithaca College from 1975 to 1997.

Barry Munitz

Barry Allen Munitz has been a senior administrator at the University of Illinois and the University of Houston, a business executive at Maxxam, Inc., chancellor of the California State University system, and chief executive officer of the world's wealthiest art institution, the J. Paul Getty Trust. He is on the Board of Selectors of Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

Doctor of Philosophy Postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities in many countries

A Doctor of Philosophy is the most common degree at the highest academic level awarded following a course of study. PhDs are awarded for programs across the whole breadth of academic fields. Because it is an earned research degree, those studying for a PhD are required to produce original research that expands the boundaries of knowledge, normally in the form of a thesis or dissertation, and defend their work against experts in the field. The completion of a PhD is often a requirement for employment as a university professor, researcher, or scientist in many fields. Individuals who have earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree may, in many jurisdictions, use the title Doctor with their name, although the proper etiquette associated with this usage may also be subject to the professional ethics of their own scholarly field, culture, or society. Those who teach at universities or work in academic, educational, or research fields are usually addressed by this title "professionally and socially in a salutation or conversation." Alternatively, holders may use post-nominal letters such as "Ph.D.", "PhD", or "DPhil". It is, however, considered incorrect to use both the title and post-nominals at the same time.

Mary DuBose Garrard is an American art historian and emerita professor at American University. She is recognized as "one of the founders of feminist art theory" and is particularly known for her work on the Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi.

Diana Natalicio is an American academic administrator who served as president of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) from 1988 to 2019. After growing up in St. Louis, Natalicio studied Spanish as an undergraduate, completed a master's degree in Portuguese and earned a doctorate in linguistics. She became an assistant professor at UTEP in 1971, and was named the first female president of the university on February 11, 1988.


  1. Eells, Walter Crosby; Haswell, Harold (1960). Academic degrees: earned and honorary degrees conferred by institutions of higher education in the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of Education. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  2. "Doctor of Humane Letters". International Institute of Philanthropy. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  3. "Dr. Kermit". 20 May 1996. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  4. Carlin, Romano (11 July 2008). "Dishonorary Degrees". The Chronicle of Higher Education (v. 54 i. 44). Retrieved 12 August 2021.