Degrees Conferred 251
faculty made no further recommendations for honorary degrees until
after the Trustees at their annual meeting in 1911 had notified the
faculty of their readiness to consider such recommendations. In the
meantime much complaint was heard of the inaction of the College in
neglecting to honor her alumni: Why should not the College
recognize the worth of her sons as other denominational colleges were
doing? It was quite a humiliation to hear others, at meetings of
Conventions and Associations, addressed as "Doctor," and possibly
given preferment for pastorates because of their degree. It is because
such representations are not without force and reason that the College
continues to grant honorary degrees. But the faculty has taken
precautions against embarrassment in having recommendations turned
down. They now make their recommendations before the mid-year
meeting of the Board of Trustees at the time of the meeting of the
Baptist State Convention, and all recommendations are kept secret
until approved by the Trustees, and the degree is granted only when
the one chosen for it has been notified and is present at the following
commencement to have it conferred upon him with some ceremony7
The faculty also guard against ill-considered action and partisanship
in making their choice. A committee canvasses the attainments of
those whose names are brought to their attention, and consider only
those who excel in two of these three: scholarship, literary output, and
professional eminence. After that, their qualifications are freely
discussed in open faculty meeting and they are recommended only by
a two-third vote in each instance. Not more than five honorary
degrees may be conferred in any one year, and of these only two can
be the same degree.8
7 In only one instance since 1908 have the Trustees seen fit to withhold approval
to one recommended by the faculty. This gave the faculty much pain since the
reason assigned for his rejection was wholly groundless.
An exception was made for the exceptional centennial year, 1934, when eleven
honorary degrees were conferred, all but two on alumni, and those two being former
professors in the College.
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