The Laikipia University has conferred World marathon record-holder Eliud Kipchoge with a Doctorate Degree in Science during its seventh graduation ceremony.
According to the University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Kibet Rotich, Kipchoge was honoured due to his commitment in the field of sports and being a marathon record holder.
Prof Kibet said that the university settled on Kipchoge after he was recommended by the University’s Senate and successful approval by the Laikipia University Council.
He noted that athletics being a sport science and the university having embraced sports training they found it fit to award him.
“The University Senate recognised Kipchoge’s contributions in the field of sports. As an institution our niche areas are sports science and management,” he said.
Prof Rotich noted that this was the first time the institution was awarding a top sports personality an honorary degree.
He at the same time revealed that the university is set to establish a department of sport science that will enable the youths to train in the university adding that Kipchoge would be one of the trainers in the department.
On his part, Kipchoge hailed the university for its commitment to promoting sports noting that sports was the only profession where one is free.
“I am happy for the recognition by the university, it is a big recognition and it’s among the biggest recognition on my neck apart from my medals. It is not for me, it’s for the youths, it’s for our kids to know that no human is limited.
“I'm also happy that Laikipia University is recognising running and you know that running is the only profession that you can get freedom because in other profession you are a slave,” he said.
Kipchoge challenged other athletes to try their luck in athletics noting that no human is limited.
An honorary degree is an academic degree for which a university has waived the usual requirements such as enrollment, a dissertation and the passing of comprehensive examination.
It is also known by the Latin phrases honoris causa ("for the sake of the honour") or ad honorem ("to the honour").
The degree is typically a doctorate or less commonly, a master’s degree, and may be awarded to someone who has no prior connection with the academic institution or no previous post-secondary education.
The degree is often conferred as a way of honouring a distinguished person's contributions to a specific field or to society in general.