Queen’s University Belfast has announced that they have appointed Hillary Clinton in the role of chancellor.
Queen’s University Belfast announced on Thursday that the former US secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton is due to become the 11th chancellor of the university and will also become the first female chancellor in the history of the university.
No stranger to Northern Ireland
Hillary Clinton is no stranger to Northern Ireland as she has been a regular visitor to it throughout the past decades, stretching back to her first-ever visit in 1995 with her husband, President Bill Clinton, who became the first-ever serving US president to visit Northern Ireland.
On that visit, they spent the majority of their day meeting with and speaking to representatives from all sides of the community, and they also officially switched on Belfast’s Christmas lights. They both have been long-time supporters and proponents of the Northern Ireland peace process.
Recent triumphs and presidential pressure
Hillary Clinton was appointed the US Secretary of State by President Barack Obama in 2009 and served for four years in the role until she stepped down in 2013. When she won the democratic nomination for the White House, she ran as their candidate in the 2016 Presidential election but narrowly lost to the Republican Party’s candidate, Donald Trump.
In a recent interview with the BBC, Hillary Clinton revealed that she feels she is “under enormous pressure” to challenge current President Donald Trump in next year’s election.
Hillary Clinton currently holds an honorary doctorate from Queen’s, which she received in 2018, and her new role as chancellor will run for a five-year term. She will take up the role of chancellor immediately and will be succeeding Dr Tom Moran, who passed away last year.
In a recent statement, she said that becoming the chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast was a “great privilege” and went on to say, “It is a great privilege to become the chancellor of Queen’s University, a place I have great fondness for and have grown a strong relationship with over the years”.
“The university is making waves internationally for its research and impact, and I am proud to be an ambassador and help grow its reputation for excellence,” she added.
While the role of chancellor is mainly a ceremonial one, securing someone of the calibre and renown of Hillary Clinton will be seen as a great achievement by the university.
According to the university, the main duties of the chancellor involve three particular roles: to be an ambassador for the university abroad, to preside at graduation ceremonies, and to also act in an advisory role to the current vice-chancellor (Professor Ian Greer) and the rest of the university’s senior management.
Mr Stephen Prenter, who is the current chair of the Queen’s University Belfast senate, which is the university’s governing body, said that he was pleased with the appointment of Hillary Clinton as the university’s new chancellor.
“Secretary Clinton has made a considerable contribution to Northern Ireland and as an internationally recognised leader will be an incredible advocate for Queen’s and an inspirational role model for the Queen’s community,” he told the BBC.
The university stated on Thursday that while there are no plans at the moment for Hillary Clinton to visit the university, the next graduation ceremonies she could possibly preside over will take place this summer.