Chuck Feeney, the billionaire Irish American philanthropist, has been selected by all of Ireland's universities to receive an honorary Doctorate of Laws next month.
According to the Irish Times the conferral ceremony will be held on September 6 at Dublin Castle with Prime Minister Enda Kenny and Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn in attendance.
It is the first time that all of Ireland's universities north and south have coordinated such an honor and the unprecedented step is intended to acknowledge the scale of Feeney's contribution to the nation in general and to its universities in particular.
Feeney is the Irish American billionaire founder of Atlantic Philanthropies, which has donated nearly $954 million to Irish universities since 1990. His sole purpose was to create a brighter future and a better society for the people of Ireland, he revealed.
Feeney has said the best route to peace and prosperity is to help Ireland become a full participant in the knowledge society and knowledge economy, identifying Irish universities as the gateway institutions to achieve this purpose.
Feeney’s philanthropy has paid for new buildings on university campuses and state-of-the-art facilities throughout the island.
Feeney has also endowed chairs at universities and provided generous scholarships and other significant forms of student support.
Fenney's philanthropy has also supported new libraries and on-campus student housing.
The universities jointly conferring the degree include Dublin City University; the National University of Ireland; the National University of Ireland, Galway; the National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Queen’s University Belfast; Trinity College Dublin (University of Dublin); University College Cork; University College Dublin; University of Limerick; and the University of Ulster.