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Cheers and honors for Clinton at Yale

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Yale University commencement in New Haven yesterday. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Yale University commencement in New Haven yesterday. (Douglas Healey/ Associated Press)
Hartford Courant / May 26, 2009
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NEW HAVEN - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a standing ovation as well as an honorary degree at Yale University's 308th graduation ceremony yesterday.

Nine others received honorary degrees at Yale, Clinton's alma mater, including an artist, choreographer, writer, economist, and scientist. Student marshals received symbolic diplomas on behalf of almost 3,000 of their peers.

Clinton, all smiles, was given the ovation when called to receive her Doctor of Laws honorary degree.

Clinton, who earned her Yale law degree in 1973, was first lady during her husband's presidency, was elected to the US Senate from New York in 2000, reelected in 2006, and sought the Democratic party's presidential nomination in 2008. She became a diplomat in President Obama's Cabinet in January.

University president Richard Levin praised Clinton for bringing attention to healthcare, education, and women's and children's rights throughout her career.

Clinton raised the degree in her hand, waved, and mouthed "thank you" to the cheering crowd.

Robert Nelb, 23, appreciated Clinton's presence.

"She's a true public servant," said Nelb, who graduated with a master's in public health. He will begin a two-year fellowship working for the Obama administration's health initiatives.

"It's tough to find a job, so it's nice to have gotten a good one," Nelb said.

Other honorary degree recipients were sculptor Richard Serra, writer John McPhee, priest and creator of liberation theology Gustavo Gutierrez, composer Sofia Gubaidulina, scientist Leroy Hood, Nobel Prize winner Thomas Schelling, and choreographer Bill T. Jones.