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Queen’s University installs Secretary Hillary Clinton as Chancellor and awards 14 honorary degrees

Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton was officially installed as Queen’s University Belfast’s first female Chancellor at a ceremony in the Whitla Hall.

Secretary Clinton, the University’s 11th Chancellor, was appointed to the position in January 2020 for five years. During the ceremony 14 leading figures from the worlds of business, politics, sport, the arts, policing and education were awarded Honorary degrees.

Among those who were honoured are Derry Girls writer and creator Lisa McGee, former PSNI Chief Constable Sir George Hamilton QPM and Ireland’s highest capped female athlete, international hockey player Shirley McCay.

Welcoming the former US Secretary of State, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University, Professor Ian Greer said: “We are delighted that Secretary Clinton has been able to travel to Belfast to be formally installed as the University’s 11th Chancellor. 

“Secretary Clinton is an internationally recognised public servant who has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to Northern Ireland. She has an enormous amount to offer the University and will continue to work as a key advocate for Queen’s on the international stage.

“It is also a pleasure to award honorary degrees to 14 world-leading, highly distinguished individuals. We warmly welcome them to the Queen’s family.”

Speaking about the role, Secretary Clinton said: “I am so pleased to be in Belfast to be formally installed as Chancellor of Queen’s University. Queen’s makes an enormous impact on the world around us in terms of research and innovation, and I hope to inspire and encourage the students of Queen’s to make their contribution to society to the best of their ability.

“I am proud of my longstanding connection with Northern Ireland and its people and look forward to continuing to make my contribution to the University over the next few years.”

Queen’s awards honorary degrees to individuals who have achieved high distinction or given significant service in one of more fields of public or professional life and who serve as ambassadors for the University and Northern Ireland around the world.

Distinguished names on the list from the field of business include high-tech investor and entrepreneur Mark Dowds who co-founded tech hub Ormeau Baths; Fergal McCormack, Managing Director of accountancy firm PKF-FPM which employs 120 across Ireland; and Julie Sinnamon, former CEO of Enterprise Ireland.

Key figures from the political sphere who feature on the list are co-founders of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition Bronagh Hinds and Professor Monica McWilliams and fellow party members Jane Morrice and Pearl Sagar. All four received doctorates for services to the local community.

Also honoured were: Valerie M. Burke for distinction in science; Dr Jagdish Gandhi, founder of the City Montessori School; and former Principal and CEO of Belfast Metropolitan College Marie-Thérèse McGivern.

The University made a special posthumous award to recognise the public service achievements of Norman Houston, Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington for over 12 years, who passed away in January. During the Ceremony, the University, with support from the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington, announced an annual Norman Houston Study Northern Ireland Scholarship which will support a US student studying at Queen’s.

The full list of honorary degrees awarded are as follows:

  • Valerie M. Burke, DSc for distinction in science
  • Mark Dowds, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce
  • Dr Jagdish Gandhi,DSSc for services to education 
  • Sir George Hamilton QPM, DUniv for distinction in public service
  • Bronagh Hinds, DUniv for services to the local community
  • Norman Houston OBE(Posthumous Award) DUniv for distinction in public service
  • Shirley McCay,DUniv for distinction in sport
  • Feargal McCormack,DSc Econ for services to business and commerce
  • Lisa McGee, DLit for distinction in the arts
  • Marie-Thérèse McGivern,DSSc for services to education
  • Professor Monica McWilliams, DUniv for services to the local community
  • Jane Morrice, DUniv for services to the local community
  • Julie Sinnamon,DSc Econ for services to business and commerce
  • Pearl Sagar OBE,DUniv for services to the local community

The event was the first in-person honorary graduation ceremony since before the pandemic, with a limited number of people permitted to attend.

The ceremony is available to watch at: https://www.qub.ac.uk/home/chancellor-installation-ceremony.

Further details on the Honorary Graduands are available at: https://www.qub.ac.uk/home/chancellor-installation-ceremony/honorary-graduands/

 

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