Pop star Rihanna named Harvard University Humanitarian of the Year

Harvard is honoring singer Rihanna as the university's 2017 Humanitarian of the Year.

S. Allen Counter, Harvard Foundation's director, said, "Rihanna has charitably built a state-of-the-art center for oncology and nuclear medicine to diagnose and treat breast cancer at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados". The Harvard Foundation's announcement also takes care to note Rihanna's creation of the Clara and Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program, which helps students from Caribbean countries to attend college in the USA, and her support for the Global Partnership for Education, an initiative that focuses on creating equitable access to education for children in developing countries.

An global musical phenomenon, the Barbados-born singer, actress, and songwriter - whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty - has sold more than 200 million records.

Although she won numerous Grammy Awards and she is a worldwide known celebrity, Rihanna never forgot from where she left. She's supported the Global Partnership for Education and the Global Citizen Project, headlining last year's festival in NY. Rihanna also took an HIV test alongside Britain's Prince Harry in Barbados to raise awareness on World AIDS Dayas part of her philanthropic work. Previous awardees include Kailash Satyarthi, Malala Yousafzai, Kofi Annan, and Boutros-Boutros Ghali, among many others. The singer also recently visited a school in Malawi, East Africa, touring classrooms and meeting the "bravest, most humble kids".

The award will be presented on February 28 at 4 p.m.at Harvard's Sanders Theatre.

The superstar will be attending a ceremony on Harvard campus next week to accept this award.

  • Jacqueline Ellis