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First Lady honoured with a doctorate degree

For her advocacy of empowering women and helping the poor and marginalized in society, the First Lady, Mrs. Lordina Mahama has been honoured with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, by the President and Trustees of the Fordham University.

Mrs. Mahama says the recognition of her work by the Fordham University is an honour to Ghanaian women. Mrs. Mahama, together with nine other distinguished personalities, were honoured during the University’s 170th Commencement, at its Rose Hill campus in New York City, in the United State of America.

Conferring the honorary degree upon Mrs. Lordina Mahama, the President of Fordham University, Mr. Joseph M. McShane, SJ, said they are honored to be associated with a woman of valor, whose work with women and children in Ghana and across Africa reminded all of persistence of kindness and the will to make a difference in the world.

The Professor of Religion and Society at the Fordham University, Reverend Fr. Patrick Ryan presented the Degree caps gowns and academic hood to the First Lady.

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A citation presented to the First Lady proclaimed “For many efforts to help the disadvantaged and create opportunities for women and girls, we, the President and Trustees of Fordham University, in solemn convocation assembled, and in accord with the chartered authority bestowed in us by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, declare Nana Lordina Dramani Mahama Doctor of Humane Letters, honors causa”.

Mrs. Mahama ‘s recognition came as a result of her persistent interest in humanitarian issues for many years.

Her nationwide medical supplies to more than 31 public health institutions, so far, her support and efforts to help prevent breast and cervical cancers and HIV infection in Ghana, her dedication and determination to provide shelter and vocational training for the inmates and residence of the Gambaga Witches Camp, a facility which is 75 percent complete, coupled with her adoption of seven orphanages across Ghana and constantly providing them with food, clothing and other needs, and with support from the Chinese government,  Mrs Mahama has facilitated scholarships for more than 21 Ghanaian students to study in China.

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These and many others have gained her an international recognition and she is respected as an advocate of women empowerment and a helping hand for the poor and the marginalized.

Delivering the keynote address, Mrs Mahama expressed gratitude to the university for the honour done her, adding that she admires Fordham for a number of reasons including the fact that it was built on principles of the Catholic doctrine, which takes care of both the academic and spiritual needs of students.

Advising the graduate students, Mrs. Mahama urged them to lend a hand to others especially the less privileged, while showing empathy and human kindness.

“As we disperse from here, we must define the relationship we want to have with our communities and our people…..”Many of us will find the definition of ourselves in the careers we choose as scientists, social workers, religious leaders. But what is important, ladies and gentlemen, is our sense of fellow feeling, both at work and also in our spare time, she said.

“Even as we make our lives better everyday and see ourselves advance in education, finance, health among others, we should not forget to advance also in the very thing that defines us, our humanity,” she said.

Recalling the success of her humanitarian works, Mrs Mahama said there was so much joy in looking into the eyes of a child who is born HIV free through her campaigns.

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The First Lady, Mrs. Lordina Mahama, dedicated the honours to all Ghanaian women, who she said by nature are hardworking, and agents of change in their own rights.

The degree was conferred on Mrs. Mahama with nine other prominent personalities who have distinguished themselves in their fields of endeavour including law and other humanitarian works at the 170th Commencement of the Fordham University in New York, USA where she was also the keynote speaker of the event.

The ceremony formed part of the graduation ceremony of the Class of 2015 of a total of 4,972 graduants, which included four Ghanaian High court and Circuit court judges, who read LLM in International Law and justice.

Credit: Office of First Lady

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