Honorary Degrees

Following is a sampling of the many people who have received honorary degrees from Holy Cross. The College began the tradition of assigning honorary degrees in 1851 to individuals who embrace the mission of Holy Cross in their daily lives.

Eavan Boland
Irish poet and essayist;
Melvin and Bill Lane Professor in the humanities, Stanford University;
author of eight volumes of poetry;
Doctor of Humane Letters 2000

Bill Bradley
Former New Jersey senator;
Doctor of Laws 1987

James Edward Burke '47
Former chair and CEO, Johnson & Johnson;
Doctor of Commercial Science 1989

Robert Cousy '50
Basketball legend and NBA Hall of Famer;
led the Boston Celtics to an unprecedented five straight NBA titles;
Doctor of Laws 1998

Mario Matthew Cuomo
Former governor of New York;
Doctor of Laws 1984

Eamon DeValera
Former president of Ireland;
Doctor of Laws 1920

Joseph DiMaggio
Baseball Hall of Famer and banker;
Doctor of Humanities 1983

Anthony Fauci '62 
Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Doctor of Science 1987 

Bryant Gumbel
Anchor of HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel";
former co-anchor of NBC's "Today Show";
Doctor of Public Service 1989

Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez
Theology professor, Pontifical Catholic University of Peru in Lima;
father of the liberation theology movement;
Doctor of Religious Education 1994

Helen Hayes
Stage and film actress;
Doctor of Humane Letters 1981

Senator Edward M. Kennedy
Massachusetts senator;
Doctor of Laws 1977

Galway Kinnell
Pulitzer Prize-winning poet;
Doctor of Literature 1985

John Count McCormack
Irish tenor;
1928 Papal Count;
Doctor of Literature 1917

William J. McDonough '56
8th President and CEO, New York Federal Reserve (1993-2003);
Chairman of Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (2003-2005);
Doctor of Laws 2001

JoAnn McGrath
Philanthropist and promoter of Catholic education;
Doctor of Humane Letters 2001

Sister Mary Rose McGeady, D.C.
President and executive director of Covenant House, a privately-funded
childcare agency in New York City;
Doctor of Ministry 2000

Representative J. Joseph Moakley
Former U.S. Rep., 9th Congressional District in Massachusetts;
Doctor of Public Service 1991

Vivian Winona Pinn, M.D.
Director, Office of Research on Women's Health at the NIH;
Doctor of Science 1993

James D. Power III '53
Founder, J.D. Power and Associates;
Doctor of Humane Letters 1997

Helen Prejean, C.S.J.
Member of the death penalty abolition movement;
author of the book, Dead Man Walking;
Doctor of Humane Letters 1999

Tim Russert
Managing editor and moderator of NBC’s "Meet the Press";
anchor of CNBC's "The Tim Russert Show",
Doctor of Laws 2005

Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Kennedy Foundation and Special Olympics;
Doctor of Public Service 1979

Maria Shriver
NBC news correspondent;
Doctor of Humane Letters 1998

R. Sargent Shriver
Former ambassador of France and Peace Corps Director;
Doctor of Public Administration 1986

Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Nobel Prize-winning author;
Doctor of Humane Letters 1984

Blessed Mother Teresa
Nobel Peace Prize-winning missionary nun;
Doctor of Ministry 1976

Shirley Verrett
Operatic soprano;
Doctor of Musical Arts 1978