University of Exeter to award Eliud Kipchoge Honorary degree

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (white jersey) celebrates after crossing the finish line at the end of his attempt to bust the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon on October 12, 2019, in Vienna [Courtesy]
The University of Exeter will award Kenyan marathon record-breaker Eliud Kipchoge an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree during their winter graduation ceremony set for Friday, December 13.

Kipchoge received a letter from the university in July last year, where the Council in the university’s Senate recognised him for what he has achieved in the sport, asking him to attend one of their graduation ceremonies this year.

“It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the Council and Senate of the University of Exeter would like to recognize your outstanding achievements in the field of sport by conferring upon you an Honorary Doctorate of Laws,” read a letter from Professor Sir Steve Smith, the University’s Vice-Chancellor.

“The University normally grants a small number of honorary degrees each year and we would be delighted if you were able to honour us by accepting this award.

We would like to suggest that we confer the degree upon you at one of our 2019 ceremonies which will be held in Exeter, Monday 15 to Friday 19 July, or at a winter ceremony in December,” he added.

On Friday, December 6, Kipchoge also received an Honorary degree in science from Laikipia University, recognizing his contribution to the field of sports.

Kipchoge also received an Honorary degree in science from Laikipia University [Courtesy]
“It’s the first time we are awarding a top sports personality an honorary degree. As a university, our niche areas are sports science and management. We want to become the center of excellence in sport and arts as we move into the new curriculum. That’s why we settled on Eliud,” said Professor Wanjiku Chiuri, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor- Academics Research and Student affairs.

Exeter's Winter Ceremony [Couretsy]

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Kipchoge is famous for being the only human on the planet to run a 42-kilometer marathon under two hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge staged in Vienna, Austria on October 12.

The famed athlete managed to beat the clock, crossing the finish line in 1:59:40.

He was also responsible for breaking the official world marathon record after he crossed the finish line at the Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:01:39, breaking the previous record set by Kenyan counterpart Dennis Kimetto at the same marathon in 2014.

Honorary Degree

An Honorary Degree is an academic degree awarded by a university – where the usual requirements have been relinquished. It is usually known as ‘Honoris Causa’, a Latin phrase to mean ‘For The Sake of Honour’. In short, an Honorary Degree is one given to a person not necessarily a student but who has achieved something important.

University letter

University of Exeter's letter in July 2018 [Courtesy]

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University of ExeterEliud KipchogeHonorary Doctorate of Laws