Hillary Clinton makes her mark on St Andrews

On Friday 13th September the former United States Secretary of State and First Lady, named by General Dempsey as one of the United States’ “most dedicated public servants”,  Hillary Clinton, will […]


On Friday 13th September the former United States Secretary of State and First Lady, named by General Dempsey as one of the United States’ “most dedicated public servants”,  Hillary Clinton, will address academics and students in Younger Hall. On the same day, St Andrews will award her an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Clinton’s speech precedes a summit that will be held the following day, in which Clinton, amongst other guests and academics, will debate the future of universities; all kick-starting (with a rather impressive bang) the final year of St Andrews’ 600th anniversary celebrations.

As the first First Lady to be elected into the senate, Clinton promoted economic opportunity and accessible healthcare, and as chief diplomat in the States she was responsible for imposing sanctions on Iran and North Korea, as well as negotiating a ceasefire in the Middle East after the Arab Awakening. Clinton’s leading position in the promotion of women’s rights is ongoing, devotedly arguing at 2013’s Women’s Summit: “women are not victims, we are agents of change, we are drivers of progress, we are makers of peace – all we need is a fighting chance.”

Not only is Hillary Clinton an inspiration to many people, but her presence in St Andrews for our 600th anniversary also complements the university’s strong and ancient ties with the States. For roughly one fifth of our student population is North American (don’t we know it), and three of the signatories on none other than the Declaration of Independence itself either studied or held degrees from St Andrews University.

Further to this, Hillary Clinton’s attendance will excite and inspire one of our biggest and baddest faculties (the formidable IR department,) and is especially meaningful to St Andrews’ first female Principal, Louise Richardson, a champion of women’s opportunity herself, who has voiced her personal admiration of the 67th Secretary of State:

“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 is perhaps best-known for her Presidential campaign in 2007/8, during which she won more primaries and delegates than any woman in history.

On hearing the news, 3rd year Emils Gedrovics exclaimed, “wow, this is so exciting – a global voice coming to our tiny town!”

 

The Graduation Ceremony will begin at 14:30 on 13th at Younger Hall, while Secretary Clinton’s address will begin at approximately 17:00.