Northern Arizona University’s 12th president, Eugene Hughes, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from Eastern Kentucky University when he addresses graduates at the school’s fall commencement ceremonies later this month.

Hughes served as president of Northern Arizona University from 1979 to 1993 and as president of Wichita State University from 1993 to 1998, and is president emeritus at both institutions. In 2001 he served as EKU’s interim president.

In a news release announcing his award, the university called Hughes “one of the nation’s finest educators and administrators.”

The school also commended Hughes’ civic engagement, citing his 1998 recognition as Kansas Citizen of the Year and his current role as chair of the National Amtrak Customer Advisory Committee.

Hughes will recognize candidates from the university’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Business and Technology at EKU’s Dec. 17 commencement ceremonies at the Alumni Coliseum in Richmond.