Hillary Clinton is installed as chancellor of Queen’s University in Belfast


Hillary Clinton has been installed as chancellor of Queen’s University in Belfast just a day after picking up another honorary title at Oxford University.   

The former US secretary of state, 73, who is the first woman appointed as chancellor of the Belfast academic institution, attended an installation ceremony in the Northern Irish city on Friday morning. 

As Mrs Clinton – who lost the 2016 US election to Donald Trump – took part in the installation procession a number of anti-war protesters, who had gathered outside, hurled insults and abuse.

Only yesterday, Clinton was awarded an honorary doctorate in civil law at Oxford – the institution where she was a student from 1968 until 1970. 

It was the 13th such ceremonial doctorate or degree that she has received since being handed a gong by the University of Arkansas in the mid-1980s. 

Hillary Clinton has been installed as chancellor of Queen’s University in Belfast just a day after picking up another honorary title at Oxford University

The former US secretary of state, who is the first woman appointed as chancellor of the Belfast academic institution, attended an installation ceremony in the Northern Irish city on Friday morning. Above: Clinton smiles as her gown is held up to stop it being dragged along the ground

Hilary Clinton’s cascade of honorary doctorates and degrees

During her long political career, Hillary Clinton has received dozens of awards and honours.

Among them are 13 honorary doctorates and degrees, all of which are outlined below.

While First Lady of Arkansas

Mid-1980s: when her husband Bill was the governor of Arkansas, Clinton was handed her first honorary doctorate by the University of Arkansas.

While First Lady of the United States

May 1993: Clinton receives honorary doctorate at University of Pennsylvania

June 1995: Mount Saint Vincent University makes Clinton an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

While US senator from New York

August 2004: Clinton is handed an honorary doctorate in law by the University of Ulster

May 2005: Clinton receives an honorary doctorate from Agnes Scott College near Atlanta

2007: Clinton is awarded an honorary doctorate in medicine by the University of Gothenburg for being a ‘a strong advocate for increased investment in medical research’ 

While Secretary of State

May 13, 2009: Receives honorary Doctor of Laws degree from New York University

May 25, 2009: Clinton receives an honorary doctorate in law from Yale University

While private citizen before 2016 election

September 2013: University of St Andrews in Scotland hands makes Clinton an honorary Doctor of Law in recognition for her ‘roles as politician, diplomat and champion of education, human rights, democracy, civil society, and opportunities for women and girls around the world’

While private citizen after 2016 election

October 2017: Clinton receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Swansea University

June 2018: Clinton is made an honorary Doctor of Laws at Queens University Belfast for her ‘exceptional public service in the US and globally’

October 2018: Clinton is made an honorary Doctor of Laws at Queen’s University Belfast

September 23, 2021: Clinton is made an honorary Doctor of Laws at Queens University Belfast for her ‘exceptional public service in the US and globally’

September 24, 2021: Clinton is formally installed as chancellor of Queen’s University

Speaking today at a ceremony where she was formally installed in Belfast, she described the university as ‘special’.

It marks the latest chapter in the Clinton family’s long association with Northern Ireland, with Mrs Clinton and her husband former US president Bill Clinton having been regular visitors to the region as enthusiastic supporters of the peace process. 

The former presidential nominee said in Belfast today: ‘(It is) a centre for innovation and entrepreneurship in technology, business and health, and an incubator for artists and scientists leaders and activists.

‘I’m looking forward to learning much more about this university and then helping to tell the university’s exciting story about the future you will create together.

‘But there was another reason why I agreed to become a member of this community.

‘Northern Ireland has become a symbol of democracy’s power to transcend divisions and deliver peace, and we need that beacon of hope now more than ever.

‘But with hope comes responsibilities, the responsibility to be a citizen, to be willing to discuss and learn from people unlike yourselves, to debate and compromise in search of common ground to participate in our shared institutions, to respect the rights, dignity and needs of all people, and to uphold the rule of law.’

Mrs Clinton was appointed to the role for a five-year term in early 2020 but her official installation was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mrs Clinton added: ‘The work of integration in housing and schools is far from finished.

‘Neighbourhoods remain divided.

‘Poverty and unemployment persist.

‘The difficulties of the past continue to threaten the present.

‘Divisions over Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol and proposed amnesty legislation might very well undermine a peaceful future.

‘A future that people voted for, fought for, and even died for.

‘Now I don’t pretend to have the political answers to resolve this impasse.

‘That is up to the people of Northern Ireland.

‘But I do know this: the future of Northern Ireland will be determined by the power of communities coming together, like the one here at Queen’s.’

The ceremony in the university’s Whitla Hall also saw honorary degrees awarded to 14 leading figures in the worlds of business, politics, sport, the arts, policing and education in Northern Ireland.

Among recipients will be Derry Girls writer and creator Lisa McGee, former Police Service of Northern Ireland chief constable Sir George Hamilton and Ireland’s highest-capped female athlete, international hockey player Shirley McCay.

President and vice-chancellor of Queen’s, Professor Ian Greer, welcomed Mrs Clinton’s installation.

‘We are delighted that Secretary Clinton has been able to travel to Belfast to be formally installed as the University’s 11th chancellor,’ he 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. 

Speaking at a ceremony where she was formally installed, she described the university as ‘special’

The former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton is installed as the chancellor of Queen’s University during a ceremony at the Belfast academic institution

Clinton’s installation at Queen’s University was watched by hundreds of students and academics who turned out in formal gowns

Mrs Clinton was appointed in January 2020, but has not been able to visit the university in that capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic

‘It is also a pleasure today to award honorary degrees to 14 world-leading, highly distinguished individuals.

‘We warmly welcome them to the Queen’s family.’

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

Today’s ceremony marks the latest chapter in the Clinton family’s long association with Northern Ireland, with Mrs Clinton and her husband former US president Bill Clinton having been regular visitors to the region as enthusiastic supporters of the peace process

Clinton poses for a photo after being inaugurated as the first female chancellor of Queen’s University on Friday

Yesterday, Mrs Clinton received an honorary degree from Oxford, where her daughter Chelsea studied a doctorate in international relations.

She also received an honorary degree from the prestigious institution in 1994, more than 20 years after studying there as a Rhodes scholar. 

In a post on Instagram, Mrs Clinton wrote: ‘Thrilled to receive an honorary Doctorate of Civil Law on a beautiful day at Oxford University.’ 

Only yesterday, Clinton was awarded an honorary doctorate in civil law at Oxford. It was the 13th such ceremonial doctorate or degree that she has received since being handed a gong by the University of Arkansas in the mid-1980s



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