Bouchet Honor Society

Artistic rendering of Edward A. Bouchet with text: Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society. Cornell University Graduate School logo.

Yale University and Howard University established the Edward A. Bouchet Graduate Honor Society in 2005. Named for the first African American doctoral recipient in the United States (Ph.D. from Yale University in 1876), the Bouchet Society recognizes outstanding scholarly achievement and promotes diversity and excellence in doctoral education and the professoriate. Outside of the society’s founding universities, Yale and Howard, Cornell was among the earliest universities to establish a Chapter of the Bouchet Society with its first members inducted in 2006.

The Bouchet Society seeks to develop a network of preeminent scholars who exemplify academic and personal excellence, foster environments of support and serve as examples of CLASS: Character, Leadership, Advocacy, Scholarship, and Service. In the spirit of Bouchet’s commitment to these pursuits both within and without the academic realm, inductees into the honor society exhibit these qualities and demonstrate a commitment to advancing diversity, inclusion, access, and equity in the academy, especially by those from backgrounds historically underrepresented in higher education.

Prospective Cornell Bouchet inductees must be an advanced doctoral candidate (priority consideration provided to those closest to completion), or a postdoc, faculty member, and/or academic affairs administrator with a Ph.D. Though priority consideration is provided to advanced doctoral candidates, the Cornell Bouchet Chapter also seeks to expand through the inclusion of a limited number of postdocs, faculty, and/or academic affairs administrators with a Ph.D.

All prospective Cornell Bouchet inductees must be interested in or already on a faculty or academic career pathway and exemplify the following:

  • record of academic and personal excellence 
  • foster environments of belonging and support
  • serve as examples of character, leadership, advocacy, scholarship, and service within higher education
  • commitment to advancing diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in higher education
  • support access by and advancement of scholars from backgrounds historically excluded and underrepresented in the academy 

Bouchet Society Selection Timeline

  • Early December– Solicitation for applications from advanced doctoral candidates, postdocs, faculty, and administrators who embody the characteristics of Dr. Bouchet as expressed through the five thrusts of the society: Character, Leadership, Advocacy, Scholarship, and Service.
  • Early January– Completed applications and two letters of recommendation due on January 11, 2024.
  • Late January – Selection of new scholars announced.
  • Late March/Early April – Annual Yale Bouchet Conference on Diversity and Graduate Education.
  • Mid April – Induction of new scholars at Cornell.

All scholars also participate in ongoing professional development opportunities through the Graduate School Office of Inclusion & Student Engagement, Office of Postdoctoral Studies, and our partners.