Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters conferred on local rep

Honorary degree for local MLA recognises peacebuilding efforts

By Stephen McVey

A South Belfast MLA has been honoured on the other side of the Atlantic for his efforts to build peace and reconciliation. Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey was conferred with an Honorary Degree at LeMoyne College, Syracuse, New York at the end of May.. The degree of Doctor of Humane Letters was conferred at LeMoyne College’s commencement ceremony and was warmly welcomed by the local South Belfast representative,

“I am very pleased to be given this award from such a prestigious college,” said Alex.

“It was unexpected but it is a great honour.”

The degree from the college was in recognition of Alex’s service to the community, his perseverance in building peace and his continuing work for reconciliation. Alex first spoke at LeMoyne in March this year where he made a memorable impression on both faculty members and students.

“A lot of people have contributed in a significant way to the process in Northern Ireland who would have been as worthy of this award as myself,” he said.

“ I made the college aware of this but they saw this as vindication of their decision.”

In introducing him at the commencement ceremony, Patron of the college, Dan Young said: “As a Councillor, as Mayor of Belfast and now as a member of the power sharing government, Alex Maskey continues to act in an inclusive manner. He played a leading role in the Irish Peace Process and continues to work to see all the promises of the historic Good Friday Agreement fulfilled.”

 

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