Part of the series on
Desmond Tutu
31607 tutu desmond
The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu
Early Life
Tutu's role during apartheid
Tutu's role since apartheid
Role in South Africa
Chairman of the Elders
Role in the Third World
United Nations Role
Political Views
Other Humanitarian Initiatives
Academic role
One Young World
Media/film appearances
Article discussion


Desmond Tutu at Penn

Tutu at the University of Pennsylvania

Desmond Tutu Honorary Doctorate Vienna

Desmond Tutu at the The Faculty of Protestant Theology in Vienna. Photo by E. Foltinowsky. 2009

On 16 October 1984, Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee cited his "role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa."[1] This was seen as a gesture of support for him and The South African Council of Churches which he led at that time. In 1987 Tutu was awarded the Pacem in Terris Award.[2] It was named after a 1963 encyclical letter by Pope John XXIII that calls upon all people of good will to secure peace among all nations.[3] In 1992, he was awarded the Bishop John T. Walker Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award.

In June 1999, Tutu was invited to give the annual Wilberforce Lecture in Kingston upon Hull, commemorating the life and achievements of the anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce. Tutu used the occasion to praise the people of the city for their traditional support of freedom and for standing with the people of South Africa in their fight against apartheid. He was also presented with the freedom of the city.[4]

In 1978 Tutu was awarded a fellowship of King's College London, of which he is an alumnus. He returned to King's in 2004 as Visiting Professor in Post-Conflict Studies. The Students' Union nightclub, Tutu's, is named in his honour.[5]

Tutu has been awarded the freedom of the city in cities in Italy, Wales, England and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has received numerous doctorates and fellowships at distinguished universities. He has been named a Grand Officer of the Légion d'honneur by France, Germany has awarded him the Order of Merit Grand Cross, while he received the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999. He is also the recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prize, the King Hussein Prize and the Marion Doenhoff Prize for International Reconciliation and Understanding. In 2008, Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois proclaimed 13 May 'Desmond Tutu Day'. On his visit to Illinois, Tutu was awarded the Lincoln Leadership Prize and unveiled his portrait which will be displayed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield.[6]

In November 2008, Tutu was awarded the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding.

On 8 May 2009, Tutu was the featured speaker during Michigan State University's spring undergraduate convocation. During the commencement, Tutu was bestowed with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. Two days later, he received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[7] The two schools had coincidentally met in the previous month's NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, a detail not missed by Tutu.[8]

Tutu was awarded an honorary degree from Bangor University, Bangor Wales, on June 10, 2009. During the ceremony, Tutu thanked the people of Wales for their role in helping end apartheid.

On 12 June 2009 the University of Vienna conferred the degree "Doctor Theologiae honoris causa" on Desmond Tutu. The Faculty of Protestant Theology and Senate based the decision on Tutu's outstanding achievement in developing and establishing what can be called "ubuntu-theology", his manifestation of what became known as "public theology". By integrating the principles of the South African ubuntu philosophy with his theological thinking he made a major contribution beyond classical Liberation Theology.

Southwark Cathedral named two new varieties of rose in honour of Desmond and Leah Tutu at the 2009 RHS Flower Show at Hampton Court Palace. To celebrate the event, the Southwark Cathedral Merbecke Choir gave a concert in the presence of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah at Southwark Cathedral on 11 July 2009.[9][10] The Archbishop joined the choir on stage for its encore - an arrangement of George Gershwin's 'Summertime'.

In 2009 he also received the Spiritual Leadership Award from the international Humanity's Team movement[11][12] and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama.[13]

  1. Norwegian Nobel Committee. "The Nobel Peace Prize for 1984". Press release. Retrieved 2006-05-26. 
  2. Gish, Steven (1963). Desmond Tutu: A Biography. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 126. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  3. Habitat for Humanity (2007-11-01). "Habitat for Humanity Lebanon Chairman to receive prestigious Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award". Press release. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  4. "1999 Lecture: Archbishop Desmond Tutu". Wilberforce Lecture Trust. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  5. King's College London, "Famous People: Desmond Tutu".
  6. Illinois Government News Network (2008-05-13). "Gov. Blagojevich Proclaims Today "Desmond Tutu Day" in Illinois". Press release. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2009-04-24). "Tutu, five others to receive honorary degrees at Carolina's May Commencement". Press release. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  8. "Archbishop Emeritus Tutu delivers 2009 commencement address". Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 2009-05-10. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  9. "The Merbecke Choir: I sing of a rose". Southwark Cathedral. 2009-07-11. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  10. "The Merbecke Choir: Hear Us". Southwark Cathedral. 2009-07-11. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  11. "Archbishop Tutu Receives Spiritual Leadership Award From Humanity's Team", Humanity's Team, award presentation, YouTube, April 18, 2009
  12. "Desmond Tutu to Receive Spiritual Leadership Award", Humanity's Team through PR Newswire, carried by Reuters, Feb. 10, 2009
  13. "President Obama Names Medal of Freedom Recipients", White House Office of the Press Secretary, July 30, 2009

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