"Honorary member" is ASQ’s highest grade of membership. As specified in ASQ’s constitution, "an Honorary member shall have rendered acknowledged eminent service to the quality profession or the allied arts and sciences." In order to attain the highest grade of membership, an individual must be nominated by at least 10 regular members and the award must be approved unanimously by the board of directors.
Walter A. Shewhart, known as the father of statistical quality control, was the first to be named an Honorary member; this occurred in 1947, a year after ASQ was founded. Two years later, George D. Edwards, the first president of ASQ, became the second Honorary member.
The next, Martin A. Brumbaugh, founder and first editor of Industrial Quality Control magazine, was named in 1960. A trio of new Honorary members was named in 1965: Simon Collier, a past president, Harold F. Dodge, known for his working in sampling, and Mason E. Wescott, mentor to a generation of applied statisticians.
Eugene L. Grant, a great teacher of quality control, and Joseph M. Juran, who made quality management his life subject, joined the list in 1968. W. Edwards Deming, who fostered quality improvement on two continents, was added in 1970.
Ellis R. Ott, educator of a generation of quality control professionals, became an Honorary member in 1978. He was followed in 1982 by Harry G. Romig, an educator who was closely associated with Harold Dodge. Armand V. Feigenbaum, whose name became synonymous with the term "total quality control," and Kaoru Ishikawa, who helped develop a specifically Japanese quality strategy, became Honorary members in 1986.
William A. Golomski, a past president and distinguished educator, was honored in 1992. In 1996, Dorian Shainin was honored for a lifetime of achievement. Also added to the roll in 1996 was statistician George E.P. Box. Genichi Taguchi (1997) was known for developing a methodology to improve quality and reduce costs.
Author and educator J. Stuart Hunter became an Honorary member in 1998. Philip B. Crosby achieved Honorary membership in 2001. He is legendary for promoting the concept of "zero defects," and for defining quality as conformance to requirements. The next addition was Dr. Lloyd S. Nelson (2003), the founding editor of the Journal of Quality Technology and long-time author of the journal's "Technical Aids" feature.
In 2004 Dr. Frank M. Gryna and Dr. John D. Hromi became ASQ Honorary Members. Dr. Gryna may best be known as the co-author to Dr. Joseph Juran for the Juran Quality Handbook and Quality Planning and Analysis. Dr. Hromi was recognized for his exemplary service as a practitioner, educator and consultant of quality management and applied statistics principles and techniques.
Dr. Yoshio Kondo joined his esteemed colleagues as an honorary member in May of 2004. Dr. Kondo was recognized for his exceptional contribution to the global quality community as a thought-leader in the fields of human motivation and total quality management and his exemplary personal dedication to the promotion of quality throughout the world.
Dr. Yoji Akao joined his esteemed colleagues as an honorary member in November of 2009. Dr. Akao was recognized for his distinguished innovation in the development of methodologies for strategic quality management through creation of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and promotion of Hoshin Kanri as significant business improvement practices to stimulate innovation and drive competitive breakthroughs.