Hillary Clinton has broken ground for women in politics and has left a lasting mark as a politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer, and public speaker. She served as the 67th Secretary of State in the US, as a Senator for New York, and as the first lady of the United States. And she holds a special connection to Mount Saint Vincent University.

While serving as First Lady, Clinton was recognized with an honorary degree from MSVU (June 15, 1995). The degree recognized her efforts in advancing women’s education, and her role in inspiring generations of women to break barriers and make their voices heard in politics and beyond.

During the honorary degree ceremony, Clinton delivered a powerful speech, emphasizing the importance of educating women. She challenged those in attendance at the ceremony and leaders around the world to make education a priority.

“Investing in the lives and well-being of girls and women is, in many respects, the quickest route to economic and social progress,” she said in her speech. “I want to thank this university and all who support it for giving not only voice, but life to that mission. In many ways it’s the best investment any society could make.”

Dr. Elizabeth Parr-Johnston, the President of MSVU at the time, commended Clinton for her dedication to promoting the role and contributions of women in multiple fields, such as community service and academics.

Hillary Clinton standing on stage at the MSVU ConvocationAfter returning to the White House, Clinton expressed her appreciation in a note sent to Dr. Elizabeth Parr-Johnston, writing, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time on your beautiful campus, and I am very proud of my honorary degree from Mount Saint Vincent University.”

During her visit, a local newspaper article quoted an unnamed faculty member stating, “She’d make a good president too.” Little did they know that this remark would foreshadow Clinton’s future endeavours in the political arena: in 2016 she became the first female presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party.

MSVU’s history is rich with the stories of countless people who’ve had an impact on the university and in the broader community. Over the course of 2023, we’ll feature stories about 150 MSVU students, faculty, staff and alum. Check back often to meet more amazing MSVU people!