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Hillary Clinton creates history, becomes first woman chancellor of Queen's University in Belfast

Tee 2016 Presidential candidate assumed the position as the 11th chancellor of Queen's University in Belfast on January 1.

Hillary Clinton creates history, becomes first woman chancellor of Queen's University in Belfast
Image Source: Democratic Candidates Attend New Hampshire Democratic Party Convention. MANCHESTER, NH - SEPTEMBER 19. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

There's a new chancellor in town. Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has never had a woman chancellor in its 173-year history. However, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the first pioneer to change the university's all-male streak. Clinton is only the 11th individual to assume what is, for the most part, a largely ceremonial position. In an official statement on Twitter, the 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate affirmed it was her "great privilege" to be appointed to the prestigious role. While she may not be involved in the university's day-to-day or academic decisions, Clinton will act as an ambassador for the institution and participate in graduation ceremonies, The Hill reports.


Queen's University announced the decision in an official statement published on its website. The university confirmed that Clinton would serve as their chancellor for a period of five years, effective January 1 of the new year. Stephen Prenter, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Senate, the University’s governing body, proudly stated, "I am delighted that Queen’s has chosen Hillary Clinton to be its new Chancellor. Secretary Clinton has made a considerable contribution to Northern Ireland and as an internationally recognized leader will be an incredible advocate for Queen’s and an inspirational role model for the Queen's community."


In response, the now-chancellor posted on Twitter, "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." Clinton will be expected to fulfill three major roles as chancellor, namely, "a ceremonial one which involves presiding at degree congregations; an ambassadorial role, where the officeholder helps to 'open doors' for the University as it seeks to fulfill its mission; and finally as an advisor, available to the Vice-Chancellor and senior management as a “sounding board” and to provide counsel and guidance."


Clinton was conferred an honorary degree from the university, which describes itself as "one of the leading universities in the United Kingdom and Ireland with a distinguished heritage and history, [ranked] in the top 173 universities in the world," in October 2018. At the time, she used the opportunity to discuss Brexit. "The policy disagreements dividing your political parties are deeply felt but the stakes of the Brexit process go way beyond politics as usual," she stated. "I wonder if would it be possible for the people of Northern Ireland, and those who represent them both in Westminster and here, could figure out a way to form an interim community government for the purposes of securing the best possible Brexit outcome for Northern Ireland." While Brexit may not have unfolded quite the way she hoped it would, her contributions to the Queen's University community are sure to not go unnoticed.

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