Rihanna Named Harvard's Humanitarian of the Year

  /  02.23.2017

Rihanna is being honored for her humanitarian work.

The pop superstar will receive the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year from Harvard University, accepting the coveted Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award during the ceremony on Feb. 28.

“Rihanna has charitably built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados,” said Harvard Foundation director S. Allen Counter.

“She has also created the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program [named for her grandmother and grandfather] for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries,” Counter added, “and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, a multiyear campaign that will provide children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today.”

When she launched her scholarship program last year, RiRi explained how much it meant to help others. “To be able to give the gift of an education is actually an honor,” she said at the time. “Higher education will help provide perspective, opportunities, and learning to a group of kids who really deserve it. I am thrilled to be able to do this.”

In September, she was named Global Ambassador for Education through the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen. Earlier this year, she visited Malawi in an effort to promote education worldwide.

Her efforts have also extended beyond education. Last year, she joined Britain’s Prince Harry in her native Barbados, where they raised AIDS awareness.

Past Harvard honorees include tennis star Arthur Ashe and actor James Earl Jones.


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