Harvard University named Rihanna 2017’s Humanitarian of the Year on Wednesday, recognizing the singer for working to improve cancer treatment in Barbados, where she was born, and for setting up a college scholarship to bring Caribbean students to study in the United States.
The superstar will be attending a ceremony on Harvard campus on February 28th to accept this award. Students can attend the ceremony for free, which, lucky. Here’s part of the statement from the Harvard Foundation’s director on their reasoning behind choosing Rihanna:
“Rihanna has charitably built a state-of- the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados … In 2012, she founded the nonprofit the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program [named for her grandparents] for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, which provides children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls, and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today.”
Rihanna is not the first musician to be awarded Harvard’s humanitarian honor. In 2011, it went to Lionel Richie. Past honorees also include Ban Ki-moon, Malala Yousafzai, and actor James Earl Jones. Congrats to Rih!