Bill Clinton receives honorary doctorate from McGill University



President Bill Clinton receives honorary doctorate from McGill University: Webcast

  • McGill University has granted honorary doctorate to Bill Clinton: The University has bestowed a Doctor of Laws degree on the 42nd president of the United States at a special private ceremony…
  • Bill Clinton receives honorary doctorate from McGill Former US President addresses crowd of 700 at private ceremony: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton addressed an invitation-only crowd of 700 as he received an honorary doctorate from McGill last Friday. The ceremony, which took place at the Centre Mont-Royal, was part of McGill’s two-day Leadership Summit…. – McGill Tribune, 10-20-09
  • Bill Clinton wows audience during Hon Doc ceremony: In a globe-trotting speech that touched upon everything from climate change in Afghanistan to linguistic demographics in Papua New Guinea, former U.S. President Bill Clinton accepted his honorary Doctor of Laws degree from McGill by urging his audience to tackle world issues by fostering a “communitarian consciousness.”…. – McGill Reporter 10-16-09
  • Clinton accepts McGill degree 800 attend private, off-campus event: Former United States president Bill Clinton spoke to a crowd of around 800 people on Friday when he accepted an honorary doctorate from McGill for “a lifetime of outstanding leadership” from McGill. The ceremony was held at the Centre Mont-Royal, a privately owned building off campus, as part of the University’s inaugural Leadership Summit. The event was a private, invitation-only ceremony. Attendees included McGill Senate members and active volunteers with the Campaign McGill fundraising initiative. Very few students were invited to the ceremony, but those who attended included student senators and students awarded the Clinton-Dahdaleh scholarship…. – McGill Daily, 10-19-09
  • Clinton praises Canadian unity: Unshackled from the restraints of presidential office, Bill Clinton dropped any pretence of neutrality on the national-unity file yesterday and bluntly welcomed an undivided Canada.
    Using the podium of an honorary-doctorate ceremony at McGill University, the former U.S. president seized on the august occasion to highlight Canada’s perennial national-unity debate…. Globe and Mail, 10-17-09
  • Clinton picks up honorary degree, feels the warmth: Bill Clinton’s honorary doctorate was the coup of McGill’s homecoming weekend, the jewel in a month when the university basked in the reflected glory of Nobel Prize-winning alumni and saw its fundraising campaign climb above the $500-million mark.
    And the former U.S. president proved yesterday he still has the star power to charm and inspire, summoning all of us to be better citizens of the world.
    “We are going to have to stumble into the future together,” Clinton told 700 guests – mostly donors, alumni and volunteers – taking part in a two-day leadership challenge, at the Centre Mont-Royal. By turns funny and self- deprecating, determined and serious, Clinton spent more than an hour chatting about everything from hunger on World Food Day to his long, happy relationship with Canada and its commitment to health care and communal values…. – Montreal Gazette, 10-17-09
  • Bill Clinton, McGill University Honorary Doctor of Law: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton brought his trademark plain-spoken and easy-going style to Montreal as he received McGill University’s highest honour. He joins the ranks of other honorary doctorate recipients such as fellow ex-U.S. president Franklin D. Roosevelt, British PM Winston Churchill, ex-Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau and Canadian folk icon Joni Mitchell.
    Ushered in by the traditional bagpiper and ceremonial procession, Clinton charmed the socks off the invitation-only audience of over 700 people, joking about his new red honorary doctor of law robe and hood. “I have been studying the robed men and wondering how they wear this without choking,” Clinton told the crowd. “And I learned that what they did was to put their ties through.”… – CJAD, 10-17-09
  • Bill Clinton to receive honorary doctorate Former U.S. President recognized for lifetime of outstanding leadership: During a private ceremony in Montreal on Oct. 16, Bill Clinton will become only the second U.S. president to be awarded an Honorary Degree by McGill, joining Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who received his in 1944. Clinton, who will speak at Development and Alumni Relation’s leadership summit that day, was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice – first in 1992 and then in 1996. Under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs…. – McGill Reporter, 10–09


Bill Clinton, getting an honorary doctorate from McGill, said of the Quebec referendum: "I'm glad you didn't get a divorce."

  • “I am profoundly honoured to be here at this magnificent university and to be honoured in the way President [Franklyn Delano] Roosevelt was. I am particularly grateful for the priority that McGill has placed on making serious commitments to broadly shared prosperity, sustainability in the face of climate change, reaping the progress and promise of science and technology, promoting wellness and health, and trying to deal with the amazing array of diversity that exists in our countries and throughout the world that has to be both respected and reconciled….
    These challenges cannot be met unless we meet them together. We have to find a way to go forward together…. I’m not calling for world government, I’m just saying we have to have a world consciousness….
    There are always going to be gaps between where we are and where we want to be. In the last 20 years more than any time in history, non-governmental groups have arisen to try and fill those gaps. The NGO movement has run wild over the last 15 years and it’s one of the greatest things that have happened….
    “There were many occasions when leaders of the Republican Party suggested that I might want to move to Canada. And many when I thought it was not a bad idea… You have occasional votes about whether you ought not to be together. By the way, I’m glad you didn’t get a divorce. That’s the great thing about not being President any more – you can say whatever you want. Of course nobody cares what you have to say any more either….
    We simply have to understand that we are blessed to be alive. We should be proud of our own distinct differences, but our common humanity has got to drive every single important calculation of the 21st century. Because even the Nobel Prize winners – and I know McGill just produced two in science – are not nearly as smart as they think they are. Nobody is. So we are going to have to stumble into the future together.” — Former President Bill Clinton, Speech upon receiving an honorary degree from McGill University
  • “An exuberant American original… a global leader and human rights champion of extraordinary breadth and vision…. A simply brilliant communicator on the world stage, president Clinton has dedicated over 30 years to the highest form of public service, and to the advancement of social justice. He has advocated powerfully and compassionately for progressive education programs and universal access to health care, [and] he has fought to end poverty, disease, and racial discrimination.” Principal Heather Munroe-Blum in her introduction
  • “Both during his term in office and since leaving it [Clinton] has worked diligently, just as we do at McGill, to share knowledge and inspire others to achieve solutions to real world problems. Today he joins an outstanding roster of influential figures who have been recognized with honorary degrees from McGill.” — Chancellor Arnold Steinberg in his opening remarks
  • “While it is normally a custom of McGill University to confer honorary degrees at our spring and fall convocations, this special and unique event, as part of our leadership summit, allows us to – and we’re delighted to – award this degree today.” — Provost Anthony Masi
  • “Few individuals define the expression global leader as perfectly as Bill Clinton. During his presidency and in the years since, President Clinton has demonstrated an unyielding devotion to social justice in the world. His continued leadership inspires us all to do more, and we are honoured to have the opportunity to formally recognize his contributions.” — Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill


William Jeffesron Clinton, Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa. / Photo: Owen Egan

  • Gil Troy “Clinton accepts McGill degree 800 attend private, off-campus event”: Gil Troy, history professor at McGill who studies American politics, said that Clinton’s reputation has fluctuated with the current world financial situation. “Whats interesting with the [George W.] Bush debacle and the rise of Obama [is that] in some ways Clinton’s administration has been both enhanced and diminished. It was enhanced because the recession was the Republicans’ fault and now there’s a resurge for the Democrats,” Troy said. “[But] if we look closely at the causes of the recession, [we] have to link the eighties with the nineties. It’s very hard to take Clinton out of the narrative of Reagan and [George H.W.] Bush.” – McGill Daily, 10-19-09
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