Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

Alexander McCall Smith 
Doctor of Humane Letters  2009
Status: conferred

Alexander McCall Smith - law professor and author - has excelled in two diverse careers, as legal scholar and fiction writer. Following his childhood in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), he moved to Scotland and earned a law degree and Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, where he has led a distinguished career as professor of medical law. He helped establish a law school at the University of Botswana and has been a visiting professor at law schools in Europe and the United States, including SMU's Dedman School of Law. An international authority on biomedical ethics, he has served as adviser to the United Kingdom and as a member of the International Bioethics Commission of UNESCO. Professor McCall Smith is most widely known, however, as a best-selling author of more than 70 works, including mysteries, children's books and short story collections. His mystery series on The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 40 languages. The series has been adapted for radio, television and feature film. In 2007 Professor McCall Smith was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for achievements as an author. For his contributions to literature and legal scholarship in the important area of biomedical ethics, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Alexander McCall Smith the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.