Rihanna, acclaimed musical artist, has been named the 2017 Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year. The popular singer will be awarded the Harvard Foundation’s Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony on Tue., Feb. 28 in Memorial Hall’s Sanders Theatre.
“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,” said Dr. S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation.
“She has also created the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program (named for her grandmother and grandfather) for students attending college in the US from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, a multi-year campaign which 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. In 2014, Rihanna became the Global Partnership for Education Global Ambassador. “It is for these philanthropic initiatives and other acts of compassionate sharing that the students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation chose to honor Rihanna with the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Award.”
The Harvard Foundation recognizes prominent public-spirited leaders each year in honor of the late Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes. Over the past 35 years, Harvard Foundation humanitarian awards have been presented to several distinguished humanists including, Swedish physician-statistician Hans Roosling, actor James Earl Jones, chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Thorbjorn Jagland, UN Secretaries General Ban ki-Moon, Kofi Annan, Boutrous-Boutrous Ghali and Javier Perez de Quellar; gender rights advocate Malala Yousafzai, anti-child-labor spokesman Kailash Satyarthi, singer Lionel Richie, actor Ruby Dee, athlete Arthur Ash, Health and Human Services director, Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, and farmworker rights advocate Delores Huerta, to name a few.
Read more about the event on Harvard’s Facebook.