The Catholic University of America

Honorary Degrees Conferred by The Catholic University of America

On May 16, 2015, the following honorary degrees were conferred:

Francisco Jose Gomez de Arguello y Wirtz and Maria Carmen Hernandez Barrera
received the degree Doctor of Theology, honoris causa
"Kiko" Arguello and Carmen Hernandez together founded the Neocatechumenal Way, known simply as "The Way."  They were recognized for their devotion to the poor and the good work they have done for the Church.

Michael Novak received the degree Doctor of Education, honoris causa 
Mr. Novak has committed himself to the integration of faith and reason, and an unflagging pursuit of truth.  He has written more than 45 books and has received nearly 30 honorary degrees.

Mary Higgins Clark received the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa
Ms. Clark has written over 50 suspense novels, as well as collections of short stories and a memoir.  Throughout her writings, she has told imaginative stories without graphic violence or sex, appealing to adults and teens alike.  She was recognized for her unwavering faith and perseverance, and the gifts she has shared through her writing.

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.

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