Honorary Degrees
1918 - Present

Van  Cliburn 
Doctor of Arts  2001
Status: conferred

Van Cliburn, musician, philanthropist, and Texan, won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition at the age of 23, a feat so remarkable that he remains the only musician for whom New York threw a ticker-tape parade (in 1958). In 1962 he established the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, held every four years, to aid young musicians. Mr. Cliburn is one of the most highly recognized concert pianists of his generation, performing with every major orchestra and conductor and appearing in all of the internationally renowned concert halls. His generous sponsorship of musicians is world-renowned. His life resonates with rich musicality, striking clear and glowing tones with the master's touch. For a lifetime of international artistic achievement, Southern Methodist University is honored to confer upon Van Cliburn the degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa.