Harvard Is Awarding Hillary Clinton The Radcliffe Medal & The Meaning Behind It Is So Inspiring
As the Trump White House fends off more accusations of collusion with Russia, news broke on Sunday that Hillary Clinton will receive Harvard's Radcliffe medal during the Ivy League university’s graduation week. The 2016 Democratic candidate for president and former secretary of state is scheduled to be honored with the award on Friday in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
According to Harvard, the Radcliffe Medal honors a person whose life's work has had a “transformative impact on society.” Organizers from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study said Clinton was chosen this year for her role as a “champion for human rights,” a “skilled legislator” and “an advocate of American leadership” on the international scene.
The announcement also came on the same day the president took a jab at Clinton and her email controversy. President Trump accused Clinton's campaign of being corrupt and, as he has in the past, referenced the 2016 email scandal. As a side-note, the president's two-part tweet actually elicited a response from Dictionary.com for misspelling the word "collusion". Though an FBI investigation into Clinton's emails ended without criminal charges, and Clinton has insisted that no classified information was ever sent or received, Trump has continued to tweet about the issue. Trump's critical tweets aside though, Clinton has remained an active figure in the political realm following the 2016 election. And her recent commencement ceremony speech proves it.
In fact, Harvard isn't the only Ivy League to honor Clinton this week. Yale invited Clinton to address the graduating seniors for "Yale Class Day" on Sunday. In her commencement speech, Clinton poked back at the Trump administration, mocking Trump's Russian woes as she addressed the class of 2018, according to the New York Post. She even played along with Yale's student tradition of bringing an often light-hearted, "over the top hat" to the ceremony by busting out a black Ushanka, a Russian fur cap with ear flaps.
“If you can’t beat them, join them,” said Clinton, a 1973 graduate of Yale's law school, per the New York Post. “I see looking out at you that you are following the tradition of over-the-top hats. So I brought a hat, too. A Russian hat.”
In her speech, Clinton added that she still had not gotten over the 2016 election. “No, I’m not over it,” she said. “I still think about the 2016 election, I still regret the mistakes I made.” But she also touched on deeply sensitive issues across America, according to CNBC, including the number of school shootings and racial discrimination. The former presidential candidate went on to emphasize the public's fight for truth, in a likely nod to how the Trump administration handles media reports and fact-checking.
"We're living at a time when fundamental rights, civic virtues, freedom of the press, even facts and reason, are under assault like never before. But we are also witnessing an era of new moral conviction, civic engagement and a sense of devotion to our democracy and country," said Clinton, finding a silver lining. “As hard as it is, this is a moment to reach across divides of race, class, and politics to try to see the world through the eyes of people very different from ourselves and to return to rational debate."
On Friday, Clinton will make her second Ivy League appearance at Harvard, but this time, she'll be the one receiving a speech. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is scheduled to deliver a personal tribute to Clinton. Albright, also a Radcliffe Medalist, will participate in a keynote conversation with Clinton, along with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.