Rihanna Named Harvard University's Humanitarian of the Year

Singer will be receiving the Peter J. Gomes Award

By Zach Johnson Feb 23, 2017 12:50 PMTags

Is there any award Rihanna hasn't received?

The star was named Harvard University's 2017 Humanitarian of the Year Wednesday. She will pick up the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at the Sanders Theatre on Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. ET.

The 29-year-old "Needed Me" singer founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, which aids disadvantaged communities around the world. In January, on behalf of her foundation and the Global Citizen organization, she also traveled to Malawi to meet with a number of government officials, mentors, students and teachers to discuss education efforts in the East African nation.

The Giveback

Neuroscience professor S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation, praised Rihanna's ongoing philanthropic efforts. "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," he said Wednesday. "She has also created the Clara Lionel Foundation Scholarship for students attending college in the U.S. from Caribbean countries, and supports the Global Partnership for Education and Global Citizen Project, a multiyear campaign that will provide children with access to education in over 60 developing countries, giving priority to girls and those affected by lack of access to education in the world today."

Harvard's Humanitarian of the Year award is handed out in honor of the late Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomez and recognizes "prominent public-spirited leaders" around the world, "whose works and deeds have served to improve the quality of our lives and have inspired us to greater heights." Past recipients include Kofi Annan, Arthur Ashe, Ruby Dee, James Earl Jones, Tommy Hilfiger, Lionel Richie, Sharon Stone, Desmond Tutu and Malala Yousafzai, among many more.