St Andrews University to honour Hilary Clinton

Former American first lady Hillary Clinton is to be honoured for her work when she visits Scotland next month.
Hilary Clinton is to be honoured by St Andews University. Picture: GettyHilary Clinton is to be honoured by St Andews University. Picture: Getty
Hilary Clinton is to be honoured by St Andews University. Picture: Getty

Mrs Clinton, who has served as a senator and was US secretary of state until last year, is to be given an honorary degree by St Andrews University in recognition of her achievements as a politician and diplomat.

The award will also mark her efforts to champion the causes of education, human rights, democracy, civil society and promoting opportunities for females around the world, the university said.

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Mrs Clinton, whose husband Bill was president for eight years between 1993 and 2001, will address an audience of global education leaders, university staff and students during her visit to St Andrews.

St Andrews principal and vice-chancellor Professor Louise Richardson said: “We are absolutely delighted that Secretary Clinton will join us and other distinguished guests from around the world as we celebrate 600 years of university education in St Andrews.

“In addition to traditional celebrations, we will mark the occasion by doing what universities do best, bringing creative and independent thinkers together to ask difficult questions and exchange novel ideas as we explore the role of universities in the centuries to come.

“As one of the most influential women in the world, Hillary Clinton, as stateswoman, senator, and policymaker, never shied away from tackling difficult questions, working to make the world a better place, inspiring others, speaking out for the voiceless and striving ever to excel. We are honoured that she will participate in our celebrations.”

Mrs Clinton, who lost to Barack Obama in the contest to be the Democrat candidate for president in 2008, is due to speak at St Andrews University on Friday September 13, and will be conferred with a degree of doctor of laws in a ceremony the following day.

The university has strong ties with the United States, with three of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence - Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson and John Witherspoon - having studied at or held degrees from St Andrews.

Now almost a fifth of the institution’s 6,000 undergraduate students come from North America.

St Andrews will continue to mark its 600th anniversary with a gathering of leading thinkers to debate the future of universities at a summit to be held on September 14.