The Catholic University of America

 

Conferral of Degrees In Memoriam

Revised January 17, 2019, by approval of the Academic Senate and the University Provost 

The academic dean of a school within the University may request that the Academic Senate vote to authorize the conferral of a degree In Memoriam.  

The designation In Memoriam refers to a category of degree conferral which reflects that the student in question was working toward completion of a particular degree program, but died before completing the requirements for the degree, and that the University is acting in this way as a compassionate gesture toward the bereaved and in the memory of the deceased. 

Procedure 

The dean of the school in question initiates the conferral of a degree In Memoriam, after consultation with the president, provost, and registrar of the University, and having provided them with information about the student’s standing within a degree program and circumstances of the student’s death.   The dean should ordinarily do so only after also discerning the wishes of the deceased student’s family (if any) and/or acquaintances.  

The dean may initiate a degree conferral In Memoriam in any situation where the student in question was working towards completion of the degree. The dean submits a motion to the Academic Senate, proposing that the University confer upon the deceased student the degree for which the student was studying, with the request that the conferral be In Memoriam. If the Academic Senate approves, the student’s name is included in the next subsequent degree list approved by the Academic Senate.

 The dean submits a motion to the Academic Senate, proposing that the University confer upon the deceased student the degree for which the student was studying, with the request that the conferral be In Memoriam.  If the Academic Senate approves, the student’s name is included in the next subsequent degree list approved by the Academic Senate. 

The diploma, commencement program, and any other record of the degree’s conferral will include the notation that the degree was given In Memoriam.  

The dean is responsible for conveying the diploma and any accompanying messages of condolence from the University to the next of kin of the deceased student. If the deceased student’s family is willing, the diploma could be presented to them as part of the graduation ceremonies during which the student would have attended had he or she survived. 

In cases where all degree requirements have been completed (as approved by the respective dean), the degree should be conferred posthumously, rather than In Memoriam, through the standard approval process.