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Request an In Memoriam (Posthumous) Honorary Degree

If a UK student has passed away during the course of their studies at UK, the department or dean's office (perhaps in consultation with the student's family) can request that the student be considered for an In Memoriam honorary degree. The student's progress towards a degree is irrelevant. See Senate Rules for additional details.

To request an In Memoriam degree for a student, please email the request to Kristen Pickett ( in the Senate Council office. Generally speaking, the request should be on letterhead and include the following:

  • Student’s name and UKID;
  • Degree program the student was in at the time of their death;
  • Requested date of conferral;
  • Some personal information about the student, if appropriate (e.g. accomplishments while at UK or interactions with others);
  • Number of credit hours the student completed; and
  • How many credit hours the student lacked for completion of the degree.

Upon receipt of the request, SC office will confirm the student's status as degree seeking and that the student was in good academic standing.

If members of a student’s family would like to accept the diploma on behalf of the student at a Commencement ceremony, please let Ms. Pickett know .

Please note that if a student passes away but has completed all requirements for the degree they were seeking, the student can retroactively have conferred upon them a regular earned degree, as opposed to an honorary degree.