Harvard University to Recognize Rihanna’s Charitable Efforts with Humanitarian Award

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Rihanna has been invested in charitable efforts for the past several years, including her annual Diamond Ball fundraiser. (Roc Nation)

Rihanna has been named Humanitarian of the Year by Harvard University and will be honored at an upcoming ceremony for her charitable efforts.

The Ivy League school announced the news Wednesday, Feb. 22, revealing the “Needed Me” singer will be on campus to accept the Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a Feb. 28 ceremony.

Harvard Foundation Director S. Allen Counter outlined Rihanna’s philanthropic pursuits in a news release, including her 2012 $1.75-million donation to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bridgetown, Barbados, where she was raised. In honor of her gift, which funded new radiology equipment, the department was renamed the Clara Braithwaite Centre for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine in honor of her late grandmother. That same year, Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation (named after her grandparents) and instituted the Global Scholarship Program for students from the Caribbean and South America who are attending United States colleges.

As the ambassador for Global Citizen and the Global Partnership for Education, which aims to provide education to children in 65 developing countries — especially for most-vulnerable nations — Rihanna visited Malawi. The January visit saw the entertainer speak to government officials, students and teachers to promote education.

“Met the bravest, most humble kids and young women this week!” Rihanna wrote on Instagram.

met the bravest, most humble kids and young women this week! I can't wait to share more! #CLF #GC #GPE

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The 29-year-old star will be honored at the Sanders Theatre on Harvard’s campus and when she receives her award, she’ll be placed in the company of past honorees like actor James Earl Jones.

As a singer, Rihanna also has another accomplishment to celebrate. She broke her Billboard Hot 100 chart tie with Michael Jackson this week by earning her 30th Top 10 hit. The single “Love on the Brain” made it to No. 8 in the rankings, putting her ahead of Jackson’s 29 hits. Rihanna began gaining racing up the charts with her debut single “Pon De Replay” in 2005 and now sits alongside Madonna and The Beatles as the only acts to have 30 or more songs to be ranked one through 10 on the Hot 100.

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