Athletics legend Eliud Kipchoge is receiving accolades from all sectors including the academia. The University of Exeter bestowed Kipchoge with an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree during their winter graduation ceremony this December.
The University sent the record breaker a letter in July 2018, informing him of their intention. The letter from the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith read, “It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the Council and Senate of the University of Exeter would like to recognize your outstanding achievements in the field of sport by conferring upon you an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.”
“The University normally grants a small number of honorary degrees each year and we would be delighted if you were able to honour us by accepting this award.”
“We would like to suggest that we confer the degree upon you at one of our 2019 ceremonies which will be held in Exeter, Monday 15 to Friday 19 July, or at a winter ceremony in December,” he added.
The university recognises Kipchoge as the greatest marathon runner of all time. The Kenyan long-distance runner has won 11 out of 12 official marathon races, claiming the Olympic title, eight Marathon Major victories (four London, three Berlin and one Chicago Marathon) and is also the owner of the official world record.
His most recognisable fete was his recent INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna where he created history by becoming the first person to run a sub two-hour marathon.
Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya
This recent achievement has earned him the ‘Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya’ (E.G.H) award in October.
Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya is the highest category of presidential awards which is further divided into three classes: Chief of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (C.G.H.), Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.) and Moran of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (M.G.H.).
The Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.) is often given to among others the Deputy President, Speakers of Parliament, Cabinet Secretaries, the First Lady, the wife of the Deputy President, Head of Public Service and the Kenya Defence Forces’ (KDF) Chief of Staff.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said at the time that the athlete inspired Kenyans and the world that no human effort is futile.
“Eliud Kipchoge who is alive and here with us has also inspired the world that no human effort is futile, that we can dream and make our dreams a possibility”.
“He has demonstrated that through integrity, hard work and commitment to excellence nothing is out of reach” said President Kenyatta.
The president described Kipchoge as a living legend and added that his achievement should remind Kenyans not to limit themselves to the ordinary.
“In honour of all the hero’s past, present and future I wish to invite and to recognize Eliud Kipchoge with the Elder of the Order of golden heart”.