The Catholic University of America

Honorary degree recipient Giuseppe Francesco Mazzotta

Honorary Degrees Conferred by The Catholic University of America

On May 17, 2014, three honorary degrees were conferred:

Andrea Riccardi
will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa
Professor Riccardi is the founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio and professor of contemporary history at Roma Tre University in Rome.  He has published several books on the Church and modern European history, and in 2011 wrote a biography of Saint John Paul II.

Philip Rivers will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa 
Five-time Pro Bowl quarterback for the San Diego Chargers, Philip Rivers has excelled on the football playing field at every level.  He also, along with wife Tiffany, supports numerous nonprofit agencies in San Diego County, and lists his priorities in life as faith, then family, then football.

Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle will receive a Doctor of Theology, honoris causa
Cardinal Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila, is an alumnus of CUA, having received his licentiate and doctorate degrees in sacred theology.  He is known throughout the Philippines for his strong pro-life advocacy as well as his commitment to spiritual truth and embrace of social media.  He was proclaimed cardinal by Pope Bendict XVI in 2012, and has been archbishop of Manila since 2011.


Since 1896, the University has conferred more than 300 honorary degrees. Recipients have come from virtually every walk of life – professors, poets, cops, kings, journalists, judges, bishops, and politicians. Included among them are Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and Lyndon Johnson; Rev. Mother (now Saint) Katharine Drexel, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, Mother Teresa, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, and Cardinals Francis Spellman, Stephen Wyszynski, George Basil Hume, and John O'Connor. Also, theologian Rev. Hans Urs Von Balthasar, philosopher Josef Pieper, singer Marian Anderson, composer Aaron Copland, actress Helen Hayes, announcer Ed McMahon, athlete Roger Staubach, comedian Bob Newhart, and journalists Tim Russert and Wolf Blitzer.

All have made contributions to the Church and/or society that earned them this special regognition. Most of the honorary degrees have been conferred at Commencement; some have been given on other special occasions.

> See the complete list