Duke University



Listed below are recipients from 2010 to 2019.


France Córdova, Doctor of Science
Director of the National Science Foundation, astrophysicist, first female chief scientist at NASA, served as chancellor of the University of California at Riverside and president of Purdue University

Renée Fleming, Doctor of Arts
Opera singer and soprano, one of the most celebrated musical ambassadors of our time, National Medal of Arts winner

Rakesh Jain, Doctor of Science
Pioneer in bioengineering and tumor biology, one of 20 individuals ever elected to all three U.S. National Academies - the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine - as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Michael Feinberg and David Levin, Doctor of Humane Letters
Founders of KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) whose mission is to create a national network of public schools that are successful in helping students from educationally underserved communities. As of 2015, KIPP has grown to a national network of 57 schools in 17 states and Washington D.C.

Harold A. Mooney, Doctor of Science
Pioneer in plant physiological ecology, international leader in assessing the impact of climate change and the degradation of ecosystems from the tropics to the Artic, member of the Stanford faculty

McCoy Tyner, Doctor of Arts
Considered to be one of the most influential jazz pianists of the 20th century, has received many honors and awards - including the Presidential Merit Award from the Grammy Foundation and a Jazz Master award from the National Endowment for the Arts


Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Doctor of Science
UC Berkeley educator and researcher, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine

Erskine B. Bowles, Doctor of Laws
Businessman, Politician, former President of the UNC system and co-chair of Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Susan M. Hockfield, Doctor of Humane Letters
Leader in Higher Education and researcher of glioma, a deadly form of brain cancer, and the first woman and first life scientist to serve as president of MIT

Walter Isaacson, Doctor of Humane Letters
Writer and biographer, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute and former chairman and CEO of CNN and editor of TIME magazine

W. Delano Meriwether, Doctor of Science
Physician, former track and field athlete, and founder of the Meriwether Foundation


Marguerite Barankitse (Maggy), Doctor of Humane Letters 
Burundian humanitarian and social entrepreneur, founder of Maison Shalom or "House of Peace"
Max Dale Cooper, Doctor of Science       
Distinguished immune system scientist, identifier of T cells and B cells, and chair of the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology Advisory Board      

David Sean Ferriero, Doctor of Humane Letters      
10th Archivist of the United States, former director of New York Public Libraries and university librarian and vice provost for library affairs at Duke University

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Doctor of Humane Letters     
Scholar of African-American history and literature, director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University    

Melinda Gates, Doctor of Humane Letters    
Philanthropist and world humanitarian, co-founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

William Hunt Gross (Bill), Doctor of Laws      
Finance and microeconomics Leader; founder, managing director, and co-CIO of Pacific Investment Management Co. (PIMCO)     

Judith A. Jamison, Doctor of Arts      
Dancer and choreographer, artistic director emerita of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater


James Barksdale, Doctor of Laws
President and Chairman of Barksdale Management Corporation, a philanthropic investment company.

Nancy Brinker, Doctor of Humane Letters
Founder of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Emmylou Harris, Doctor of Arts
Singer-songwriter and 12-time Grammy award winner. Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Darryl Hunt, Doctor of Humane Letters
Advocate and spokesperson for the rights of the innocent; founder of The Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice.

Robert Coleman Richardson, Doctor of Science
The Floyd Newman Professor of Physics at Cornell University; co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Fareed Zakaria, Doctor of Humane Letters
Editor-at-Large of Time Magazine, host of CNN's flagship foreign affairs show, a Washington Post columnist, and a New York Times bestselling author.


John T. Chambers, Doctor of Science
CEO and Chairman of the Board of Cisco Systems, philanthropist.

Rita Dove, Doctor of Literature
Essayist, poet and novelist; former Poet Laureate of the United States.

James B. Hunt, Jr., Doctor of Laws
Former four-term governor of North Carolina; advocate for public education.

Alan C. Page, Doctor of Humane Letters
Justice of the Minnesota Supreme court and former All-America football player; co-founder of the Page Education Foundation.

Lisa Randall, Doctor of Science
Theoretical physicist and a leading expert on particle physics and cosmology.

Eric K. Shinseki, Doctor of Humane Letters
Secretary of the Veterans Administration; retired U.S. Army four-star general and former Army chief of staff. 

Tan Chorh Chuan, Doctor of Science
President of the National University of Singapore;  international leader in public health and biomedical sciences.


Temple Grandin, Doctor of Humane Letters
Autism expert and professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University

Joel Klein, Doctor of Humane Letters
Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education

Alasdair MacIntyre, Doctor of Humane Letters
Philosopher, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Notre Dame's Center for Ethics and Culture

Sir John Pendry, Doctor of Science
English theoretical physicist, creator of the first practical "invisibility cloak."

Muhammad Yunus, Doctor of Humane Letters
2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, founder of Grameen Bank in Bangldesh