Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has been awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters at the University of Edinburgh’s recently redeveloped St Cecilia’s Hall – Scotland’s oldest concert hall.
Upon receiving the honour Adichie said, “It is lovely to be in this place, which is hallowed. I feel very fortunate to be included among the people who have been honoured with a degree from this University.”
The award, presented by the University’s Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, is in recognition of Ms Adichie’s achievements as an author and public intellectual.
When proposing Adichie for the award of the degree, Dr Barbara Bompani, Director of the Centre of African Studies said there are many stories of the influence that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s work has had on the lives, thoughts and creativity of others. “Through her writing, her advocacy, and her public engagement, she inspires all of us to better understand our own, and other peoples’ stories.”
Adichie is also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship – a five-year grant awarded to individuals who have shown exceptional creativity in their work, and have the potential to demonstrate more in the future. Her most recent work, Dear Ijeawale, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, takes the form of a series of letters from the author to a friend about feminism and motherhood won the French award; Le Grand Prix de l’héroïne Madame Figaro.
Among this years honorary degree recipients from the university is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who received the Doctor honoris causa (Doctor of Humane Letters) an honorary degree, usually given to those who have distinguished themselves in areas other than science, government, literature or religion.