Clintons to Receive Awards at HSPH Centennial

Former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton will be honored at an October 24 celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the Harvard School of Public Health, the school announced Monday.

Bill Clinton will be one of three recipients of the Centennial Medals, which were created to honor “individuals whose creative minds and effective leadership have had an enormous global impact, improving the health and well-being of millions of people around the world,” according to a press release.

Chelsea Clinton will receive the School of Public Health’s inaugural Next Generation Award, recognizing an individual under the age of 40, who is committed to “health as a human right.”

The two other recipients of the Centennial Medals will be Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, and Gro Harlem Brundtland, former prime minister of Norway, who both received advanced degrees from Harvard.

The medals, which do not come with a monetary prize, were awarded based on “a consensus process,” said Julie Rafferty, associate vice dean for communications at the School of Public Health.


Although Rafferty declined to comment on the specific reasons why Bill and Chelsea Clinton were chosen, the School of Public Health’s announcement made mention of both individuals’ leadership in the Clinton Foundation.

The presentation of the Centennial Medals and Next Generation Award is one part of the School of Public Health’s ongoing centennial celebration, which will include a variety of events throughout the academic year. The School of Public Health was established in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School for Health Officers before splitting off from MIT in 1922.

“The purpose of the centennial is as much to look forward as to look back,” Rafferty said. “The events that we’re having...[will] be looking forward as well as acknowledging people that have had great accomplishments already out in the world.”

The School of Public Health plans to use the centennial as an opportunity to solicit donations for the University-wide capital campaign, which will officially enter its public phase on September 21 and is expected to raise at least $6 billion. According to Rafferty, the School of Public Health will be hosting a gala after the award ceremony to kick off its part in the campaign.

“By raising money through the Campaign to support our faculty and students...we can develop tools to eradicate diseases; prevent pollution and promote healthier communities; advance health as a human right; and ultimately lead change and educate the future leaders in public health,” wrote School of Public Health Dean Julio J. Frenk in a message to the school.

—Staff writer Brian C. Zhang can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @brianczhang.


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