By ALICE ZHAO
HONG KONG – Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities for his humanitarian work at a graduation ceremony in a Hong Kong university last Monday.
Cater was awarded the honor “as a model of compassion and humanity, and as illustration of the power of one extraordinary human being to bring about meaningful change and the betterment of humankind.” said Albert Chan, President and Vice-Chancellor of Hong Kong Baptist University, at the 52nd Commencement of the university.
The university’s citation noted that in his presidency from 1976 to 1980, Carter battled to contain inflation, recession, deficits, energy crisis, strove to the Middle East through the Camp David Accords, returned the Panama Canal to its people, and reached agreements with Leonid Brezhnev on the Salt II nuclear arms reduction treaty.
In 2002, Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in public works, the only U.S. president who have received the honor after the presidency. He established The Carter Center in 1982, under which he has been advancing democracy and human rights and promoting economic and social development.
Together awarded at the commencement were three other prominent Chinese. Joseph Lee, a social entrepreneur, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Social Science. The Hong Kong proper developer Lee Shau Kee was awarded the degree of Doctor of Business Administration. Li Lanqing, the former Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China was granted the degree of Doctor of Humanities.
Carter and Li did not attend the commencement in person.
The university president encouraged graduates to learn from the recipients of the honorary doctoral degrees. He said, “These are individuals who have made a difference to the world. In addition to being extremely successful in their chosen fields, they share a dedication to being a positive force in society. ”
On behalf of the honorary doctors, Lee Shau Kee expressed their thanks to the university for the honors conferred on them and extended their congratulations to the graduates.