Sir Edmund Hillary receives honorary doctorate

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Sir Edmund Hillary at Poland in 2004. Photograph by Mariusz Kubik

Yesterday the first person to climb Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, received an honorary doctorate from the University of Waikato for his work in the fields of environment, education and humanitarian causes.

Sir Edmund said: "Receiving this so close to home is something special," as all his other doctorates he had received had all come from other countries. Sir Edmund was born in Auckland and had travelled around Waikato, and in regards to that he said: "It's a great honour to be here, and I feel that it's almost home to me."

Roy Crawford, vice-chancellor of the University of Waikato, said: "The award of honorary doctorate acknowledges Sir Edmund's outstanding achievements and qualities."

The university already has a scholarship programme named after Sir Edmund.

Sir Edmund was the first person, along with his Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.