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University of Central Missouri
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Warrensburg, MO 64093
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Bill Clinton to Receive Honorary Doctorate at Graduate Commencement

Contact: Jeff Murphy    |   
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 4, 2011) – Recognized not only for his service to the nation as 42nd President of the United States but also for his commitment to education and philanthropy, William J. Clinton has been named recipient of the honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters. Although more specific details about the award ceremony will be released at a later date, the honorary degree will be presented by the University of Central Missouri during 2011 Graduate Commencement exercises Friday, May 6.

The honorary doctorate is bestowed by the authority of the university’s Board of Governors upon individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service and exemplary achievements within their fields of endeavor. By their actions they have been an inspiration to others.

President William J. Clinton
President William J. Clinton

William Jefferson Clinton was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice – first in 1992 and then in 1996. Under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs.

After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence.  Today the Foundation has staff and volunteers around the world working to improve lives through several initiatives, including the Clinton Health Access Initiative (formerly the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative) which is helping 4 million people living with HIV/AIDS access lifesaving drugs. Other initiatives -- including the Clinton Climate Initiative, the Clinton Development Initiative, and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative -- are applying a business-oriented approach worldwide to fight climate change and develop sustainable economic growth in Africa and Latin America. As a project of the Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative brings together global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. In the U.S., the Foundation is working to combat the alarming rise in childhood obesity through the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and is helping individuals and families succeed and small businesses grow. In addition to his Foundation work, President Clinton has joined with former President George H.W. Bush three times – after the 2004 tsunami in South Asia, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Hurricane Ike in 2008 – to help raise money for recovery efforts and served as the U.N. Envoy for Tsunami Recovery.

Building on his longstanding commitment to Haiti as President and through his Foundation, President Clinton was named U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti in 2009 to assist the government and the people of Haiti as they “build back better” after a series of hurricanes battered the country in 2008. Following this year’s devastating earthquake, President Clinton dedicated Clinton Foundation resources to help with immediate and long-term relief and assistance, and at the request of President Obama, joined with President George W. Bush to establish the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, which supports highly effective organizations on the ground in long-term rebuilding efforts. Additionally, President Clinton serves as co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission with Prime Minister Bellerive.

In 2008, UCM first became aligned with the Clinton Climate Initiative through the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) which worked with CCI to develop and implement large-scale energy efficiency retrofit projects. CCI assisted UCM in designing the university’s $36.1 million energy management project with a goal to save the institution at least 31 percent of its annually energy costs while significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions. As a result of such assistance, UCM undertook the largest energy retrofit project on a college or university campus.