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Sacred Heart University Bestows Honorary Degree On Conor Gearty

From left are Sacred Heart University President John Petillo, Conor Gearty and Trustee Rev. Robert Kinnally.
From left are Sacred Heart University President John Petillo, Conor Gearty and Trustee Rev. Robert Kinnally. Photo Credit: Tracy Deer-Mirek

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – An honorary degree was bestowed on noted author and scholar Conor Gearty during a special academic convocation at Sacred Heart University on Tuesday, April 22.

The ceremony preceded the University’s twice-yearly Faculty Institute.

Gearty is a professor of human rights law at the London School of Economics, director of the its Institute of Public Affairs and a founding member of Matrix Chambers from where he continues to practice at the English Bar.

He was educated at Castleknock College, UCD in Ireland, and the University of Cambridge in England. Among the best known of his many books are "Freedom Under Thatcher," "Terror", "Can Human Rights Survive?" and "Civil Liberties". He is the editor of the "Cambridge Companion to Human Rights Law" (2012). His latest book, "Liberty and Security," was published by Polity in February. He has honorary degrees from Roehampton and Brunel Universities, is a Fellow of the British Academy and, in October 2012, was elected a Bencher of the Middle Temple.

The citation was read by Professor Gerald Reid, director of the Center for Irish Cultural Studies. The conferral of the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, was made by SHU President John J. Petillo, and the vesting of the hood was performed by the Rev. Robert Kinnally, University trustee.

Gearty also presented the keynote address at the Faculty Institute on the topic of “Global Awareness and Terrorism” where he questioned whether our reactions to the threat of terrorism impinge on our freedoms.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Gearty visit Sacred Heart during this 50th anniversary year. Not only is he an outstanding educator and scholar, but his commitment to human rights exemplifies our mission of preparing students to make a difference in the world,” Petillo said.

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