Nigeria-born author, Chimamanda Adichie, has bagged two honorary doctorate degrees from two universities in the United States, the Georgetown University and the American University, Washington, DC, within one week.
According to a statement released on the Georgetown University’s website, “acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a doctorate of humane letters, honoris causa, and delivered the commencement address,” at the ceremony which held on Healy Lawn.
Applauding the students for their achievements and providing them with valuable life advice, Adichie encouraged them to define their goals even in the face of contradictory expectations.
She said, “This, your graduation, is the time you’ll hear grand pronouncements – to go out and ‘do something big’ in the world,” adding that “That’s not a bad thing. But I encourage you to go define for yourself what ‘big’ means.”
“Extreme individualism will not serve you well, no matter what course your life takes. Social action matters. Caring about the rights of others is important, because in doing so, you preserve a system that protects your own rights.
“It seems to me that the consequence of our modern, fast lives is that happiness is a condition we recognize only in retrospect. So please – remember to be happy when you are happy,” she concluded.
Likewise, Adichie has also received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the College of Arts and Sciences of the American University, Washington, DC.
Others honoured with Adichie by the American University were Pam Kaufman, President of Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Product; Roger W. Ferguson, President and CEO of TIAA; General James L. Jones (ret.), former National Security Advisor to President Obama; and The Honourable Roger L. Gregory, the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.