Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg Receives Honorary Degree
Official Matriculation Ceremony Welcomed Largest Freshman Class in SHU History
Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg was presented the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, at Sacred Heart University's Academic Convocation and Induction of the Class of 2011 on September 10. The official ceremony welcomed the first-year students to SHU with a formal academic procession and messages from the faculty, student representatives, and President Anthony J. Cernera, Ph.D.
The Laudatio, a tribute that is customarily read on behalf of an honorary degree recipient, was presented by Dr. Edmond Israel, founding chairman of Cedel International and the former chair of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Sacred Heart University is a blessing for those who are studying here and know how to listen also, as Dr. Cernera expressed it so splendidly the other day, with the ears of their heart. Prince Guillaume who is honoured today, is one of those human beings who listen with the ears of their heart, and that is why he is a source of inspiration for those who prepare their future, he offered.
The honorary degree was conferred upon Prince Guillaume by Dr. Cernera, who stated, Your Royal Highness, your life of strong social leadership and generous compassion, you're witness to the values that we espouse for our students and the University community inspires all of us, and we are grateful for your presence among us. Sacred Heart University brings great honor on itself today by honoring you.
With 965 incoming students, the Class of 2011 ranks as the largest freshman class in Sacred Heart University's 44-year history. The students were admitted from a pool of over 8,000 applicants, also the largest in SHU history.
In addition to its size, the class is also distinguished by its academic and social accomplishments: 20 percent of the new freshmen ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class, 10 percent served as president of their high school senior class, and 85 percent have a background in community service.
The class members hail from 32 states and 13 countries and 12 percent come from a minority background. Twenty-six percent are residents of Connecticut.
Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg is the third son and youngest child of Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte of Luxembourg. Guillaume Marie Louis Christian was born in 1963 and attended secondary school in Luxembourg and Switzerland.
He received his baccalaureate in Grenoble in 1982 and continued his studies at Oxford University, in the United Kingdom, and Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. He earned his degree in International Relations in 1987. The Prince worked at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, and spent two years with the Commission of the European Communities in Brussels.
Guillaume married Sibilla Weiller in 1994, and they have four children. Among the Royal Couple's special interests are the education and welfare of children and the pursuit of dialogue between religious traditions in the interests of peace.
Each year, Prince Guillaume and his father, the Grand Duke Jean, present medals to young people in Luxembourg who have accomplished exceptional feats on behalf of society. The Merite Jeuness program has grown appreciably due to the Prince's active involvement.