| Half of 1998's honorary degree recipients were Brown alumni. Here is the complete list:
- Chinua Achebe, novelist, short-story writer, and poet. The Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College, Achebe has been called "the father of African literature."
- John Harbison, composer and conductor. Institute Professor of Music at M.I.T., Harbison won a 1987 Pulitzer Prize for the cantata The Flight into Egypt.
- H. Anthony Ittleson '60, chairman and president of the Ittleson Foundation, which supports projects related to AIDS, the environment, and mental health. A former member of Brown's Board of Fellows, he was executive chairman of the Campaign for the Rising Generation, which raised $534 million for the University.
- Mamphela Ramphele, vice chancellor of the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Trained as a doctor and anthropologist, she was one of the founders of South Africa's anti-apartheid Black Consciousness Movement in the 1960s.
- Kenneth Ribet '69 A.B., A.M., professor of mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley. Famed for his work in number theory and arithmetical algebraic geometry, he is best known for helping complete the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.
- Theodore R. Sizer, one of the nation's leading education reformers. A professor of education at Brown from 1984 to 1997, Sizer has been chair of the education department, director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, and founder of the Coalition of Essential Schools.
- Joseph L. Tauro '53, adjunct professor at the Boston University School of Law and trustee emeritus of the Brown Corporation. He is chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the district of Massachusetts.
- Janet L. Yellen '68, chair of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers. A former member of the Federal Reserve System's board of governors, she was also a professor of international business and trade at the University of California at Berkeley.