Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has spoken of her long-standing connection with Northern Ireland ahead of being formally appointed as chancellor of Queen's University Belfast.
Ms Clinton will officially assume the role at a ceremony at the university’s Whitla Hall on Friday.
“I am so pleased to be in Belfast to be formally installed as chancellor of Queen’s University,” she said ahead of the ceremony.
“Queen’s makes an enormous impact on the world around us in terms of research and innovation, and I hope to inspire and encourage the students of Queen’s to make their contribution to society to the best of their ability.
“I am proud of my long-standing connection with Northern Ireland and its people and look forward to continuing to make my contribution to the university over the next few years.”
The former first lady in Washington will be the university’s 11th chancellor. She was appointed to the position in January 2020 for five years.
Ms Clinton was also awarded an honorary degree in civil law by the University of Oxford on Wednesday.
During the Queen’s ceremony, a number of figures from business, politics, sport, arts, policing and education will be awarded honorary degrees, including Derry Girls writer and creator Lisa McGee.
Former Police Service of Northern Ireland chief constable George Hamilton and international hockey player Shirley McCay will also receive honorary degrees.
Queen’s University president and vice-chancellor professor Ian Greer said Ms Clinton “is an internationally recognised public servant who has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to Northern Ireland”.
“She has an enormous amount to offer the university and will continue to work as a key advocate for Queen’s on the international stage,” he said.
Co-founders of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition, Prof Monica McWilliams and Bronagh Hinds, along with fellow party members Jane Morrice and Pearl Sagar, will receive doctorates for services to the local community during the ceremony.
Investor and entrepreneur Mark Dowds, who co-founded the technology hub Ormeau Baths, Fergal McCormack, managing director of accountancy firm PKF-FPM and Julie Sinnamon, former chief of Enterprise Ireland will also be recognised.