Acclaimed journalist, author and humanitarian, Amanda Lindhout, will receive an Honorary degree from the University of Lethbridge at its Spring Convocation ceremony.
“We are very excited that Amanda has accepted our offer of an Honorary Degree,” says University of Lethbridge Chancellor, Dr. Shirley McClellan. “Her story is one of incredible perseverance and compassion. To be able to use the traumatic ordeal she experienced as the impetus to effect change is incredible. Her attitude embodies the ideals of the University of Lethbridge.”
The U of L will present Lindhout with the degree of Doctor of Laws, honouris causa, at the Spring 2014 Convocation Ceremony III on Friday, May 30 at 9:30 a.m. in the 1st Choice Savings Centre for Sport and Wellness.
Lindhout will also participate in a book signing (A House in the Sky) at 12:30 p.m. in the University Bookstore.
She is the fourth Honorary Degree recipient to be named this spring, along with Dr. Barbara Hohn, Dr. Seamus O'Shea and Dr. Austin Mardon.
Journalist, author, and humanitarian Amanda Lindhout is the founder of the Global Enrichment Foundation and has devoted her life to social responsibility.
Amanda Lindhout was born in Red Deer, Alta., and at the age of 24 became a journalist, travelling to various conflict zones. In 2008, she and a freelance photojournalist went to Mogadishu, Somalia. Two days after arriving, they were both kidnapped by religious extremists and held in captivity for 463 days. During this time she was repeatedly tortured and assaulted by her captors. After her release, she chose to become a champion for underprivileged people in Somalia.
In 2010, she founded the Global Enrichment Foundation, which aims to provide education, counselling and community programs in Somalia. This foundation has raised millions of dollars to develop programming that empowers Somalians to create a better future.
Since her ordeal, Lindhout has gone to great lengths to share her story, through speaking engagements, a book (A House in the Sky) and other activities. She has participated in a Bill Clinton Global Initiative panel, has given an address to the United Nations Associate in Ottawa, and has moderated a panel of former extremists for the Google Ideas Summit Against Violent Extremism.
In her courage, compassion, resolve and dedication, Lindhout is an inspiration, and she embodies the philosophy and values of the University of Lethbridge. Her overcoming of adversity speaks to deep strength, purpose and compassion, and she exemplifies the notion of engaged citizenry.
In recognition of Amanda Lindhout’s courage, humanitarian contributions and advocacy for peace and empowerment, the University of Lethbridge confers upon her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honouris causa.