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Honorary Doctorate Degree

We are currently accepting nominees for 2018

Click here to access our nomination form. Submissions are due Feb. 8, 2018 >>

Faculty, staff, students and private citizens are welcome to nominate candidates for a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Honorary Doctorate Degree.

Honorary Doctorate Degrees are given to individuals of exceptional accomplishment and distinction who have made significant contributions to the university, region, state or nation. The UW Oshkosh Honorary Doctorate Degree Committee recommends candidates to the Chancellor who, with the University of Wisconsin System President, recommends nominees to the Board of Regents.

Strong consideration is given to those who: (a) have a current or past connection to the University, region (Oshkosh and Greater Fox Valley) or state of Wisconsin; (b) are distinguished alumni or (c) display excellence in reflecting the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s vision of engaging people and ideas for common good.


UW Oshkosh alumnus Daniel Burrus '71, of Hartland, is a thought-leader whose foresight and predictions on future technological trends are sought after by corporate giants worldwide.

While at UW Oshkosh, Burrus became one of the first undergraduate students in the nation to direct a federal research grant.  Upon graduating with education and social science degrees, Burrus served as a K-12 science teacher.  In the 1970s, he began his entrepreneurial journey, launching four businesses and selling each by 1982.  Since 1983, he has offered strategy for a host of Fortune 500 companies.  Companies ranging from S.C. Johnson and Sons to Microsoft and Disney among those that have tapped into his sights.  In 2009, he founded a company that pioneered development of a military and emergency responder mobile app.

Burrus has been featured by national and international media, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, PBS, CNN, Fox Business, Bloomberg, Fortune and Forbes.  He is the author of six books, and, through his company, Burrus Research, he has spoken to thousands of audiences around the globe representing industries on the "leading edge" of innovation.

Burrus was the recipient of the 2001 UW Oshkosh Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award.  He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree from UW Oshkosh at the Spring 2017 Commencement.


  • Charles Fritz Hyde, chairman of the Board of Oshkosh B’Gosh
  • Sister Irene Kohne, past administrator of St. Frances Home/St. Clare Terrace Apartments for the elderly
  • F. John Barlow, president of AZCO Inc., Appleton
  • David C. Leach, former president of Leach Co.
  • Dennis J. Noone, retired president of Firstar Bank of Oshkosh
  • Jean Nelson, retired director of UW Oshkosh Alumni Association
  • Philip Nelson, former vice president of Wisconsin Public Expenditure Survey
  • John L. Vette III, president and chief executive officer of SNC Manufacturing Co. Inc., Oshkosh
  • Howard Curler, retired chairman of the Bemis Co.
  • Allen Guentzel, retired director of Employee Relations/Corporate Staff, Kimberly-Clark, Corp.
  • James Mather, district director of Department of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Roy Vander Putten, chairman and CEO of Trade Resources International
  • Lorraine Sams, retired Green Meadow School elementary teacher
  • Verna M. Fowler, founding president of the College of Menominee Nation
  • Michael Wachtel, late executive vice president and chief operating officer of Oshkosh B’Gosh
  • John Gilbert, chairman of the board of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
  • Phyllis Leach, humanitarian and philanthropist, major supporter and ambassador for breast cancer research and awareness
  • Paul Poberezny, founder of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA)
  • Gaylord Nelson, former governor and founder of Earth Day
  • Ruth DeYoung Kohler, director of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center
  • Craig Culver, CEO of Culver’s Franchises
  • David Green, former president/CEO of Evergreen Retirement Community
  • The Mercury 13, pioneer women of the 1960s space program
  • Ted Leyhe, longtime president of Miles Kimball Co.
  • Robert Pederson, CEO of Goodwill Industries
  • Muriel Howard, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)
  • Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), initiated Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP)
  • Edward Penson, former UW Oshkosh Chancellor who led the change in admission standards from open admissions to more standard criteria
  • Jim VandeHei, cofounder and executive director of Politico, a leading web-based media company focusing on national politics
  • Dr. Martin Viessmann, owner of The Viessmann Group GmbH, Germany, partnered with UWO and BioFerm Energy Systems to build an alternative power plant in Oshkosh (first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere)
  • Stew, the Tony Award-winning musician, singer-songwriter, playwright, actor, and educator who performed and taught classes at UW Oshkosh on multiple occasions from 2011 to 2013 and whose work continues to be taught here
  • Robert J. DeKoch & Kathi Seifert, accomplished leaders and co-chairs for New North, Inc.  Both previously received the Chancellor's Medallion as founders of the regional economic development organization
  • Oman’s University of Nizwa  Chancellor Ahmed Khalfan Al-Rawahi and Vice Chancellor Abdullaziz  Alkindi who have a strong connection and partnership with UW Oshkosh. The University of Nizwa is a high quality academic institution that provides access to higher education for women in Oman with 85% women enrollment
  • Stan F. Mack II, superintendent of the Oshkosh Area School District (OASD)



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