Manaus, Brazil - March 31, 2011—President Bill Clinton, honorary chancellor of the Laureate International Universities network, delivered a speech on the importance of higher education and civic engagement to the future of Brazil at Centro Universitário do Norte (UniNorte) on March 26. The President addressed more than 300 guests, including students, alumni and faculty on the campus of UniNorte – the largest institution of higher education in the northern region of Brazil and a member of the Laureate International Universities network.
“This is my eighth appearance before a Laureate university audience, three of which have been here in Brazil,” said President Clinton. He went on to note that “I agreed to be the honorary chancellor of the Laureate International Universities network because I really believe in what Laureate institutions are doing around the world: offering high quality, affordable access to quality higher education that dramatically increases the chances that students will have a rewarding life.”
As honorary chancellor of the Laureate International Universities network, President Clinton advises Laureate on social responsibility, youth leadership and increasing access to higher education. He has delivered his message of expanding youth leadership and civic engagement on important social issues at several institutions in the Laureate network. In addition to UniNorte, President Clinton has also spoken at two other Laureate International Universities in Brazil: Universidade Anhembi Morumbi in São Paulo and Universidade Potiguar in Natal.
“We are privileged to have President Clinton bring his message of community service and youth empowerment to UniNorte’s students, alumni, faculty and staff,” said Douglas L. Becker, chairman and chief executive officer of Laureate Education. “As our honorary chancellor and champion for civic engagement and youth leadership, President Clinton continues to inspire our students worldwide to be leaders in solving the important issues in their local communities. His message here today emphasizes the importance of collaboration and the remarkable impact our students can have on the future.”
During his administration, President Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States (1993–2001), made the biggest investment in education in more than 30 years. His commitment to improving the quality of education in the United States helped to expand access to early education and made higher education more affordable and accessible. After leaving office, he started the William J. Clinton Foundation to empower people around the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. Today, the foundation takes action on issues that urgently require solutions and measurable results, including climate change, HIV/AIDS in the developing world and economic development in Africa and Latin America.
In 2005, President Clinton established the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). CGI convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI annual meetings have brought together more than 150 current and former heads of state, 15 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made more than 2,000 commitments, valued at $63 billion, that have already improved the lives of nearly 300 million people in more than 170 countries.
Laureate is an active supporter of CGI. In 2008, Laureate Education made a Commitment to Action to award 1,000 scholarships to deserving teachers around the world to help them earn an advanced degree in education, business or information technology. In 2010, Laureate partnered with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) to make a Commitment to Action to fully support the YouthActionNet® Program for Young Social Entrepreneurs. The Laureate/IYF YouthActionNet® Program for Young Social Entrepreneurs supports youth leadership development and skill-building at four Laureate International Universities network institutions, including Universidade Anhembi Morumbi in Brazil.