- Today marks the day 22 years ago that former president, Nelson Mandela received his Honorary Doctorate
- Madiba received the PhD from one of the best universities in the world, Harvard University
- The honour was bestowed on Mandela only months before he ended his term as the head of state
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On this day, 22 years ago, Nelson Mandela received an Honorary Doctorate from Harvard University.
The ceremony was held at Tercentenary Theatre, at Harvard University in Boston, United States of America.
"To join George Washington and Winston Churchill as the other recipients of such an award conferred at a specially convened Convocation, is not only a singular honour. It also holds great symbolic significance: to the mind and to the future memory of this great American institution, the name of an African is now added to those two illustrious leaders of the Western world."
The Nelson Mandela Facebook page shared a transcript of Madiba's speech at the ceremony online:
Social media users reacted to the historic day on Facebook.
Kenneth Hinkson commented:
"Deserves every honour he received."
Horst Haase said:
"A great honour for Nelson Mandela ! We always remember Tata Madiba with great respect and honour, he is unforgotten!"
Marybeth Dadd wrote:
"I was there that day. It was one of the best moments of my life!"
Kéoulin Dembélé added:
"He was a great man, a hero. Brief a honour for African Continent and the whole world in general. Rest in peace forever!"
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Briefly.co.za reported on a similar historic event. On 17 September, 1999, former South African president, Thabo Mbeki received his Honorary Doctorate from The Rand Afrikaans University only three months after he was inaugurated as the country's president.
"I am confident that this University, which I join today as an honorary member, will play its role to help to transform our country into a winning nation," said Mbeki after receiving the doctorate from Chancellor Paul Kruger.
Mbeki was inaugurated as South Africa's president in June 1999 following Nelson Mandela's end of term. He was the second black man to take on the role, a historic feat on its own. He served as the president for nearly two terms, resigning nine months before the second term came to pass.
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