University of Central Missouri to award Bill Clinton honorary degree

Monday, April 4, 2011 | 7:05 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Former President Bill Clinton will receive an honorary degree May 6 from the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg and speak at commencement.

Clinton will be given the doctor of humane letters degree, an award approved Monday by the UCM Board of Governors, said Jeff Murphy, assistant director of university relations for media relations.

For the past two years, the William J. Clinton Foundation has helped the university design a large-scale energy efficiency program. The $31.6 million project is expected to save the university 31 percent on its annual energy costs and significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The project, which will wrap up this year, has been the largest energy retrofit project at any university or college.

"(His staff members) were very helpful in helping us to find contractors and other individuals who can work in that area and helping us to find the right resources that we need to move forward," Murphy said.

In addition to his work with the university, Murphy said, Clinton also earned the recognition through his work by assisting the people in Haiti and fighting AIDS and hunger. The degree is given to those who distinguish themselves through outstanding service and exemplary achievements in their fields of endeavor.

"There are many different things that he's involved in that make him deserving of this award," Murphy said.

The campus is excited to have Clinton come to UCM, Murphy said.

"I sent out an email to the campus earlier today, and I've been getting a lot of very positive responses," he said.

Clinton will speak at the evening commencement ceremony in the Multipurpose Building. There will be additional announcements when more details about the visit are available.

Clinton has also received honorary degrees from Tulane University, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Hong Kong, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Pace University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Knox College and McGill University.

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