Rihanna has been named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year. She will visit Harvard University to accept the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony next Tuesday (Feb. 28).

Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, which provides aid to disadvantaged communities around the world. She recently traveled to Malawi on behalf of her foundation and the Global Citizen organization to meet with government officials, mentors, students, and teachers to discuss efforts to help their community.

Neuroscience professor S. Allen Counter and director of the Harvard Foundation had nothing but nice things to say about the superstar.

"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," he said. "She has also created the Clara Lionel Foundation Scholarship for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, 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."

Every year the Harvard Foundation recognizes public leaders in honor of the late Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes. Past honorees include actor James Earl Jones, U.N. Secretaries-General Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and Javier Pérez de Cuéllar. Tennis player and activist Arthur Ashe, former Health and Human Services Director Louis W. Sullivan, actress Ruby Dee, and singer Lionel Richie.

The event will be open and free to students who attend Harvard University.

 

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