University Commencement Honorary Degree Recipients

Since 1890, Temple University has awarded close to 900 honorary (typically doctorate) degrees to outstanding leaders, artists, scientists, and professionals from all walks of life whose values and achievements exemplify the mission and ideals of the university. This honor recognizes recipients' extraordinary accomplishments, celebrates their life achievements, and signifies the highest level of respect.

2018 Recipients

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker
Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa

Prior to earning his seat and becoming the first black U.S. senator for New Jersey, Booker served two successful terms as mayor of Newark.

While at Stanford University as an undergraduate, Booker oversaw a counseling center and student-run crisis hotline. While pursuing his law degree at Yale University, he volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters; was a member of the Black Law Students Association and operated a free legal clinic for low-income area residents. While at Stanford, he also was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship that allowed him to go on to study at the University of Oxford, where he earned a degree in history.

Time and again, Booker proves himself a true public servant, putting community health, safety and education at the forefront of his work, in addition to championing women’s rights, environmental preservation and nationwide technological innovation.

Booker’s visit to campus for Commencement won’t be his first: He spoke at the 2014 memorial service for his friend, the late Trustee Lewis Katz, for whom Temple’s medical school is named.

Robert Bogle
Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa

In his nearly 50 years with The Philadelphia Tribune—America’s oldest and the Greater Philadelphia region’s largest daily newspaper serving the African American community—Bogle held nearly every position at the iconic publication before becoming its chairman, president and CEO.

In addition to his role at the newspaper, Bogle is an active member of several professional, civic and social organizations in Philadelphia, including the African-American Chamber of Commerce, the Hospitals and Higher Education Facilities Authority, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association and the Zoological Society. He has served as chairman of the Cheyney University Council of Trustees for more than two decades.

Bogle’s extensive work on behalf of the entire local community exemplifies Temple’s mission to provide opportunities for all students, regardless of status or situation in life.

Meryl Levitz
Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa

Since moving to Philadelphia in 1971, Levitz felt its potential—an instinct she’s acted on since in her role as founding president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia, one of the city’s most active tourism organizations. Under her leadership, Philadelphia and its surrounding counties have quickly become a top-rated travel destination.

Among her many achievements for Philadelphia, Levitz co-founded the Center City Proprietors Association, oversaw the opening of the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, and co-directed the opening of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Reading Terminal Market. In January, Levitz announced she would be stepping down from Visit Philadelphia at the end of this calendar year.

Levitz and her organization's integral role in Philadelphia's development and growth align with Temple's commitment to the city it calls home.

Past Recipients

View past Temple honorary degree recipients »