Rihanna is Harvard's Humanitarian of the Year


Rihanna has been named Harvard University's 2017 Humanitarian of the Year, and will be presented with the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award during a ceremony at Harvard's Sanders Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. ET.

The award is in recognition of the 29 year old various charity works, including the center to diagnose and treat breast cancer she built in her native Barbados.

"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," S. Allen Counter, the Harvard Foundation's director said in a statement on Wednesday. "She has also created the Clara Lionel Foundation Scholarship Program [named for her grandmother and grandfather] 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."

Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, a charity aimed at improving impoverished communities around the globe. Last month, Rihanna set off on a mission to promote education in Malawi on behalf of her foundation and the Citizen organization.

Harvard's annual Humanitarian of the Year Award recognizes "public and spirited leaders" in honor of the late Rev. Professor Peter J. Gomes. Past recipients include actor James Earl Jones, U.N. Secretaries General Ban Kid-moon, Kofi Annan, and Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and gender rights advocate Malala Yousafzai.