Cherie Blair get honorary doctorate in Israel

May 8, 2013 at 5:24 AM
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BEERSHEBA, Israel, May 8 (UPI) -- Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, has been awarded an honorary doctorate at Israel's Ben-Gurion University.

Blair was one of six individuals to receive the honor in ceremonies Tuesday at the Marcus Family Campus at the Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, a statement by the university said.

"This is a big moment for a girl from Liverpool. As the first in my family to go to university, I never thought I would have a collection of honorary doctorates," she said.

Blair, who is chancellor of the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh, said women there are struggling against rising Islamism to protect their right to education.

"Too many women don't have access to the education we take for granted. I dedicate this honorary degree to the women of Chittagong who want to prove that education is their right," she said.

Other recipients who received the honor were: Professor Patrick Aebischer, the president of the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne in Switzerland; Professor Joshua Blau, of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; Professor Mario Capecchi, a 2007 Nobel laureate in Physiology and Medicine; Ruth Flinkman-Marandy, president of a real estate management company in California and national vice president on the board of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University; U.S. Professor Robert Langer, who was awarded the U.S. National Medal of Science, the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation in February this year.

A lifetime achievement award was given to South African philanthropist Bertie Lubner, president of the South African Associates of the university.

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