Honorary doctorate recognises Sacred Heart’s work at United Nations

The Society of the Sacred Heart's representative at the United Nations, Sister Cecile Meijer, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Roehampton, at an event in New York to mark the 175th anniversary of the University’s oldest college.

Posted: 18 March 2016

image for news story Honorary doctorate recognises Sacred Heart’s work at United Nations
Vice-Chancellor Paul O'Prey with Sister Cecile Meijer and Jackie Brown from the University's Digby Stuart College.

Whitelands College was established in 1841 and is one of the oldest providers of higher education to women in the UK. The University is hosting a number of events during 2016-17 to mark the anniversary and to celebrate prominent women.

Sister Cecile Meijer is the Society of the Sacred Heart's NGO representative to the United Nations. Proposing her for the award, Jackie Brown, Head of the University’s Digby Stuart College, which was founded by the Society of the Sacred Heart, praised Sister Cecile’s commitment to her role at the UN.

Born in Amsterdam, Sister Cecile is a graduate of the American University Washington College of Law with considerable experience in international law.

Jackie Brown said: “Sister Cecile Meijer, as a Religious of the Sacred Heart and as a campaigner for human rights, represents fundamental aspects of our interests at the University. She describes always being interested in internationality; she speaks five languages, has studied and worked in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and America. In this ministry as the congregation’s NGO representative at the UN she enjoys being surrounded by people from the entire world.”

Read the full citation for Sister Cecile Meijer's honorary doctorate of divinity.

The Society of the Sacred Heart which Sister Cecile joined in 1986, is an international Roman Catholic religious congregation for women, established in France in 1800. It affiliated with the United Nations in September 2003, when it was granted Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) status.

The honorary doctorate in divinity was presented during an event hosted by Roehampton’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul O’Prey for alumni and friends of the University at Convent of the Sacred Heart School in New York this week. Attendees included representatives from the growing number of US educational institutions with which Roehampton has partnerships.

The reception marks the first in a series of events marking the 175 anniversary of Whitelands College, the centrepiece of which is a reception at Westminster Abbey in May this year.

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