Honorary doctorate degree

The honorary doctorate degree is the highest degree the University can bestow on a former student or staff member. Numerous alumni and faculty have been honored by the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics with this prestigious title.

Year bestowed Honorary doctorate recipient
1953 Donovan R. Berlin, BSME '21 
ASVP General Manager, Boeing VERTOL 
1967 Milton U. Clauser 
Director of International Development, Communications Satellite Corporation, and Head of the School from 1950-1954
1969 Richard Lee Rouzie, BSME '28 
Vice President-Flight Test and Service, Commercial Airplane Division, The Boeing Company 
1970 Neil A. Armstrong, BSAE '55
1973 Richard W. Taylor, BSME '42 
Vice President and General Manager of Aeronautical and Information Systems Division, The Boeing Company
1975 Elmer F. Bruhn, Professor Emeritus, Purdue University and Head of School 1947-49
1977 Richard E. Adams, BSME '42 (Aeronautics Option) 
Vice President of General Dynamics Corporation and General Manager of the Fort Worth Division
1979 Herbert F. Rogers, BSAE '49 
Division Vice President, Deputy General Manager and F-16 Program Director, Fort Worth Division of General Dynamics Corporation
1980 Edmund V. Marshall, MSAES '47 
President of Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Government Products Division, West Palm Beach, Florida
1986 Richard H. Petersen, BSAE.'56 
Director of NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia
1991 S.S. Shu 
Chairman of the Board, Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan and former Professor of Aeronautics Astronautics and Engineering Science at Purdue
1992 Robert E. Bateman, BSAE '46 
Vice President and General Manager, Boeing Marine Systems
1996 Henry T. Yang  
ChancellorUniversity of California, Santa Barbara Former Dean, Purdue Schools of Engineering and Head of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics 
1998 John B. Hayhurst, BSAE '69
Vice President--The Americas, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group
2000 David O. Swain, BSAE '64
Senior Vice President of Engineering and Technology for The Boeing Company
2001 Roy D. Bridges, Jr. MSAE '66
Director NASA Kennedy Space Center
2003 Charles Taylor, BSME '46, MSME '48
Professor Emeritus of Engineering Science at the University of Florida
2004 William O'Neil, BSAE '61
Chairman of the Space Exploration Committee of the International Astronautical Federation and is member of the International Academy of Astronautics
2005 James D. Raisbeck, BSAE '61
Founder and CEO of Raisbeck Engineering Inc. and Raisbeck Commercial Air Group, Inc.
2007 Martin C. Jischke
President Emeritus, Purdue University
2019 William H. Gerstenmaier, BSAAE '77
Associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA