Naropa University Awards Parker J. Palmer with Honorary Doctorate

2015 Graduation Speaker Receives Naropa’s First-Ever Honorary Doctorate in Contemplative Education

Parker Palmer received an honorary Doctorate in Contemplative Education from Naropa University, May 10, 2015. (Photo: Leo Finn, Suse Photography)

(Photo: Leo Finn, Suse Photography)

May 18, 2015 (Boulder, CO)—Naropa University has bestowed the title of Doctor of Contemplative Education honoris causa to Parker J. Palmer. The honorary doctorate was delivered to Palmer during Naropa’s Graduation Ceremony on May 10th in Boulder, Colorado.

Naropa Provost Janet Cramer presented Palmer with the honorary degree and acknowledged his leadership and numerous contributions to education, social justice, and compassion during her remarks. The text of her remarks appears below:


“Naropa University today honors Dr. Palmer J. Parker with an honorary degree. Honorary degrees are given to individuals who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary achievements and who are widely known and highly regarded in a specific field related to a university and its mission.  Certainly, Parker J. Palmer is a respected, admired, and highly regarded proponent of contemplative education.”

“In 1993, core faculty at Naropa received copies of Palmer’s book, To Know as We are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey, and this book became a focus of our early conversations on contemplative teaching.  In 1997, Dr. Palmer was the keynote speaker at our “Spirituality and Education” conference that drew the University into the spotlight as the leading institution in contemplative education.”


“And so, today, with the authority granted to me as Provost, and with the support of the President and the faculty of Naropa University, I confer upon Parker J. Palmer, the degree of Doctor of Contemplative Education honoris causa.”

Parker’s address to graduates, “Living From the Inside Out,” was broadcast online in a global webcast in partnership with Gaiam TV, and also received coverage from Elephant Journal.

Naropa University conferred nearly 300 degrees to undergraduate and graduate students.

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About Naropa University ( Located in Boulder, Colorado, Naropa University is a private, liberal arts institution offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Naropa University is a leader in contemplative education, an approach to learning and teaching that integrates Eastern wisdom studies and traditional Western scholarship. Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.