To commend and recognize students who graduate from the University of Iowa with University Honors, we gather at the end of each spring semester for the University Honors Commendation Ceremony. Honors staff and faculty bestow honorary regalia to recognize our students' extraordinary academic achievements.

The 2020 University Honors Commendation Ceremony

at the Iowa Memorial Union on May 15th has been cancelled due to COVID-19, but we want to ensure your achievements are appropriately recognized. Each graduating senior who filled out their senior survey in April will receive an Honors medal if requested.


The University of Iowa Honors Program is pleased to present a virtual commendation address from David Gould, the 2020 recipient of the Honors Teaching Award. Please take a moment to indulge in his words of encouragement along with inspiration from his friend, Ashton Kutcher here: 

A transcribed copy of the address is available HERE

Special thanks to Dave and Ashton for this wonderful surprise for our graduates, our program sincerely appreciates you both! 

Hats off Class of 2020, you did it and with perseverance and determination amidst a very difficult time in history. May you dream big and meet all of your goals. Once a Hawkeye, always a Hawkeye. Congratulations!

To recognize all of our graduating seniors, visit our 2020 Honors Graduates video HERE.

Ceremonies from Past Years

  • Virtual Commencement Address: David Gould, Visiting Associate Professor, Public Policy Center & Ashton Kutcher, Actor & Entrepreneur 
  • Keynote Faculty Speaker: Shaun Vecera, Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences 
  • Keynote Student Speaker: Angeline Vanle, Human Physiology, Class of 2019
  • Keynote Faculty Speaker: Professor David Wilder
  • Keynote Student Speaker: Lance Heady, Biochemistry and Biology, Class of 2018

  • Keynote Faculty Speaker: Professor Steve Duck
  • Keynote Student Speaker: Rachel Zuckerman, Political Science, Journalism & Mass Comm., Class of 2017

  • Keynote Faculty Speaker: Associate Professor Rachel Williams (Watch it on YouTube)
  • Keynote Student Speaker: Jeffrey Ding, Economics and Political Science, Class of 2016 (Watch it on YouTube)

  • Keynote Faculty Speaker: Ambassador Ron McMullen
  • Keynote Student Speaker: Quinn Hejlik, History and International Studies, Class of 2015

  • Keynote Speaker: Tom Niblock '07
  • Keynote Student Speaker: Nicholas Rolston, Physics and Mathematics, Class of 2014  (Read it in Adobe)

  • Keynote Student Speaker: Elizabeth Schorsch, History and Educational Foundations & Policy, Class of 2013  (Read it in Adobe)
  • Photo Album