St Andrews plans to award Hilary Clinton a Doctor of Laws following an address to staff and students. The degree is in recognition of her work as a politician and diplomat.
Until last year Clinton was the US' Secretary of State, the first former First Lady to serve in the American cabinet. Her husband, Bill Clinton, was the 42nd American president, serving from 1993 to 2001.
Clinton will address an audience of global education leaders, university staff and students during her visit in September, as part of the university’s 600 year anniversary celebrations.
The vice-chancellor of St Andrews, 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.”
St. Andrews boasts strong links with America. Around a fifth of its 6,000 students are American, and three of the signatories on the Declaration of Independence – Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, and John Witherspoon – studied or received degrees from St. Andrews.
The honorary degree is also in recognition of Clinton’s work over the years as a champion of furthering education, human rights, democracy, civil society and promoting opportunities for females around the world.
Richardson continued: “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."
Clinton ran for president in the 2008 US election, only to be defeated by Barack Obama who secured the Democrat nomination ticket and went on to win the election.
Hillary Clinton graduated from Wellesley college in 1969 with a bachelor of arts, later going on to study law at Yale where she met her future husband Bill Clinton.