United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Madam Ban Soon-taek travelled from United Nations Headquarters to Madison, New Jersey, in the morning of Wednesday, 10 September, arriving in the early afternoon at the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU), where the Secretary-General was to receive an honorary doctorate degree.
The Secretary-General and Madam Ban were greeted by President Michael Adams, his wife Susan Adams, and Patrick J. Zenner, the Chairman of the University Board of Trustees, who escorted him to a luncheon in the University’s Mansion building.
On the way there, the Secretary-General stopped to admire a plaque listing the names of 13 United Nations delegates and officials who have previously received honorary degrees from FDU, among them Trygve Lie, the first Secretary-General of the United Nations, and former Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Ralphe Bunche. The name of the current Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, will be the fourteenth to be placed on this plaque.
Following a luncheon with more than 30 attendees from the University and elsewhere, the Secretary-General and Madam Ban proceeded to FDU’s Dreyfuss Theatre for an Academic Convocation.
The Secretary-General was led into the theatre as part of a formal academic procession, led by Kyle Morgan, a student from FDU’s College at Florham Campus who held the United Nations flag.
After delivering welcoming remarks, President Adams invited the Secretary-General to the podium to receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
The Secretary-General then delivered the keynote address, in which he stressed the importance of a global education in a more interdependent world, as well as the unique role of the United Nations in addressing global challenges. He also highlighted an initiative he intends to launch, called “Academic Impact”, which will build stronger ties between the United Nations and institutions of higher learning. (See Press Release SG/SM/11781.)
The Secretary-General and Madam Ban returned to United Nations Headquarters later that same afternoon.