Mandela: a giant

January 14th, 2014

The Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, Professor David Greenaway, has added his tribute to the global accolades for the extraordinary life and work of Nelson Mandela.

Mr Mandela died at his home in Johannesburg on 5 December, aged 95.

Mr Mandela was awarded an honorary degree by The University of Nottingham in 1996 in recognition of his leadership in fighting apartheid.

Nottingham joined seven other universities — Oxford, Cambridge, London, Bristol, Warwick, De Montfort and Glasgow Caledonian — in awarding Mr Mandela a degree on 10 July 1996.

There were so many universities that wished to confer an honorary degree on Mr Mandela at the time that it was decided to incorporate them into one ceremony. That ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace during a state visit from 9 to 12 July, with Nottingham’s then Vice-Chancellor Sir Colin Campbell.

At the ceremony, Professor Lawrie Challis, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, described Mr Mandela as “the Mahatma Gandhi and the Abraham Lincoln of our time.”

On hearing the news of Mr Mandela’s death, Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Greenaway, said: “I had the honour of meeting Mr Mandela when I spoke at the Edinburgh Commonwealth Summit in 1997, an unforgettable experience. He was one of the giants of the 20th century. He did much more than just change South Africa, he helped redefine an entire continent’s role in world politics and, in doing so, he inspired a generation in how to achieve change.”

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