South West Wales

Hillary Clinton's Swansea uni honour 'means the world'

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Media captionHillary Clinton said it was a "personal delight" learning more about her Welsh ancestors

Hillary Clinton has received an honorary doctorate from Swansea University during a visit to the city.

The former US secretary of state and 2016 American presidential candidate was presented with the award during a ceremony at Swansea University's Bay Campus.

She said the honour "meant the world to her".

The university's College of Law was also renamed the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law.

In her speech, Mrs Clinton praised the leadership at Swansea University and the support of the community which she said "has been transforming the university into a world class hub for academic pursuit, as well as the pursuit of truth, reason and innovation".

Image copyright Swansea University
Image caption Prof Richard Davies and Hillary Clinton

Mrs Clinton's great grandparents were from Wales and she has talked many times about her Welsh ancestry.

She said she had learned of a "remarkable coincidence" when appearing on BBC One's The One Show that her great grandfather's family and grandfather's family had travelled to the United States at difference times, but on the same vessel.

"I know for sure that my grandfather's family entered through the port of entry in New York known as Castle Clinton - you can't make this up", she said.

"So to have this come almost full circle is a personal delight."

Mrs Clinton also hinted that her presidential campaign slogan Stronger Together was a tribute to the Wales football team, which has the slogan Together Stronger.

"I can neither confirm or deny this," she said.

"But I do think those are wonderful words to play by and live by and I feel more strongly about that with each passing day."

Image copyright Swansea University
Image caption Mrs Clinton said Wales has a special place in her heart and "values of hard work and resilience" were passed down to her

The honorary doctorate recognises Mrs Clinton's commitment to promoting the rights of families and children around the world.

Vice chancellor Prof Richard Davies said the university was honoured to present the award to the former first lady, the wife of former US president Bill Clinton.

He described her as a figure of "enormous international significance and one synonymous with human rights".

"Her influence on recent and current US domestic policy and on global affairs has been colossal," he said.

"Today also signifies the beginning of a meaningful relationship between Swansea University and Mrs Clinton, which is based on our shared belief that we are active agents of change in our social and economic worlds."

Mrs Clinton - the Democratic party's nominee for president in the 2016 US election, losing to Donald Trump - is due to appear at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday.

Image caption Some protesters gathered outside the Swansea campus ahead of Mrs Clinton's visit on Saturday

Swansea council said its archivists had been carrying out research into Mrs Clinton's links with the city.

It said her great-great grandfather, Edwin Howell, worked for a decade in the metal industries of south Wales in the 1870s - five years of which were spent in the Landore area of Swansea.

His son, Edwin John, emigrated as a young adult to Illinois before moving to California in the 1920s, where he died in 1941.

Mrs Clinton's grandfather, Edwin John Howell junior, was born in Illinois in 1897 but died soon after his father in 1946.

The research into Mrs Clinton's Welsh roots was first sparked back in 1999 when her mother, Dorothy Rodham, whose maiden name was Howell, talked about her Welsh ancestry to a British guest at a White House reception.

Her ethnic breakdown has been calculated by genealogists as 31.2% Welsh in origin.

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Media captionHillary Clinton's Welsh roots

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