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Honorary Degree

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Office of the President
Room 206, Old Main
1000 E. University Avenue
Dept. 3434
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: 307-766-4121
Fax: 307-766-4126


The Board of Trustees, President, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Wyoming are pleased to solicit nominations for Honorary Degrees to be conferred in the spring of 2013.

An honorary degree from the University of Wyoming recognizes individuals who embody the university's high ideals and who exemplify the values of excellence, service, and integrity. These degrees recognize distinguished accomplishments in the professions, sciences, arts, humanities, public service, and service to humanity. Degrees awarded honoris causa are among the highest honors a university can confer.

Nominations for honorary degrees may be submitted by current or former members of the UW Board of Trustees, members of the faculty, and alumni. Each nomination should identify the nominee, provide contact information, and address at least one of the following criteria:

1.   Notable contribution to the health, education, or general welfare of the people of Wyoming.

2.   Outstanding accomplishment on either a state or national level by an alumna or alumnus of the University.

3.   Accomplishment so outstanding as to have won recognition on a national or international level.

The nomination materials submitted for consideration must contain sufficient information on which to base a recommendation. Nomination packets should include the following:

  • A letter of nomination that includes a full résumé of the contributions of the nominee, a list of public recognitions, other awards and honors, publications, etc.
  • Two additional letters of support
  • A one- or two-paragraph commendation summarizing the nominee's qualifications
  • Current contact information for the nominee

Please submit nominations, by means of hard copy, e-mail, or fax, to the President of the University who will then refer them to a joint committee of trustees and faculty members. The nominations and UW's deliberations are kept confidential. The committee will forward its recommendations to the UW Board of Trustees for final decision in January 2013.

All nomination packets are due no later than November 5, 2012 (date has been extended).  Please send submissions to:

Thomas Buchanan
UW President
Department 3434
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY  82071

Nominations may be faxed to 307-766-4126 or e-mailed to  Telephone inquiries should be directed to 307-766-5401.

Example Summary Commendation

James C. Nielsen
Doctor of Laws (LL.D.)

Industry visionary, ethical businessman and generous humanitarian are the words most commonly used to describe James E. Nielsen. A resident of Cody, Wyoming since his childhood, Nielsen's commitment has always been to state and community. After graduating with a degree in business from the University of Wyoming in 1954 and serving three years in the United States armed services, he returned to Cody to work alongside his father in the family business, Husky Oil, and to start a number of other energy related businesses. His business acumen led to the success of each of his business endeavors, but it has been his belief that the application of innovative technology is the cornerstone to sustained growth in oil and gas production that has changed the face of the energy industry in Wyoming and across the nation.

Long recognized as an excellent steward of resources, Nielsen works tirelessly in reinvesting his assets back into the state that has provided him with so much. He has expended his time and energy to his commitment to the conservation of Wyoming's natural resources and the sustainability of its environment. He supports projects related to economic development, aesthetic quality, and education throughout Cody, Park County, the State of Wyoming, and at the University of Wyoming all designed to the leave the community, state, and university he loves a little better than before.

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