Northern Ireland news

Hillary Clinton installed as Queen's University's first female Chancellor today

Former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton

HILLARY Clinton said she hopes she can "inspire and encourage" Queen's University students as she is officially installed as the institution's first female Chancellor today.

The former US secretary of state was appointed to the position in January 2020.

She will be installed at a ceremony in the Whitla Hall.

Secretary Clinton and her husband, former US president Bill Clinton, have a long association with Belfast and were strong supporters of the peace process.

The university will also award honorary degrees to 14 recipients including Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee, former PSNI Chief Constable Sir George Hamilton, and Ireland’s highest capped female athlete, international hockey player Shirley McCay.

Other recipients include Irish News columnist Feargal McCormack, managing director of accountancy firm PKF-FPM which employs 120 people across Ireland.

The event will be the first in-person honorary graduation ceremony since before the pandemic.

Secretary Clinton said she was pleased to visit Belfast.

"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," she said.

“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.”

In 2018, Mrs Clinton was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Queen's for exceptional public service and for her contribution to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

Queen's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Greer, said: "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," he said.

The University is making 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 died in January.

An annual Norman Houston Study Northern Ireland Scholarship will be set up to support a US student studying at Queen’s.

The full list of honorary degrees to be awarded are:

• 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

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