Hume honoured at Magee

Nobel Laureate John Hume has been honoured by the University of Ulster for a unique peace role that has given the University's Magee campus an unrivalled international profile.

At a celebration dinner in the Great Hall, Magee on Friday night, Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett said: "The lengthy list of men and women of distinction who have delivered 'Tip' O'Neill Peace Lectures at the personal invitation of John Hume underlines his international stature as a statesman and peace-builder.

"Here in his home city of Derry, the University of Ulster is proud to thank him for his continuing dedication, and for making Magee a venue for world leaders."

Professor Barnett announced that the University has appointed the Nobel peace prize-winner to an Honorary Chair in Peace Studies, a rare distinction that recognises his invaluable contribution as holder of the Tip O'Neill Chair at Magee.

The dinner, attended by about 100 guests, was held to celebrate Professor Hume's 2002-2009 tenure of the Tip O'Neill Chair and officially to inaugurate his new Honorary Chair.

Professor Hume was presented with a specially commissioned pictorial record of Tip O'Neill Lectures and the luminaries who delivered them. They have included the former US President Bill Clinton who inaugurated the Tip O'Neill Chair during his first visit to Northern Ireland in 1995.

Magee Provost, Professor Jim Allen, said John Hume's influence had immeasurably reinforced the campus's reputation as a focal point for study of peace and conflict. The campus is home to INCORE, the international conflict research institute which was jointly established with the United Nations University in 1993.

He said: "In the past seven years, high-profile speakers have delivered addresses on peace-building at Magee, drawing on the lessons of history and analysing current ethnic and power-bloc conflicts around the world.

"They consistently praise John Hume's role as one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement and hold it up as beacon of hope to divided communities across the world."