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Honorary doctorate goes to first Northern Irish President of Ireland

Mary McAleese
Mary McAleese, eighth president of Ireland, received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from RIT for work promoting peace and for her commitment to civil rights and the rights of the disabled at a campus ceremony on Friday, May 7.

McAleese made history as the first person from Northern Ireland to be elected head of state. Her victory in 1997 was by the largest majority ever in Ireland's presidential elections.

President McAleese has extensive background in higher education and the law and a longstanding interest in deaf education. Familiar with sign language, she introduced a sign-language module into solicitors' training in Northern Ireland, the first such course in European legal training.