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Marathon king Eliud Kipchoge was conferred of an honorary degree by the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology(JKUAT) at its main campus in Juja Sub County, Kiambu, on Friday.

The event coincided with JKUAT’s 41st Graduation where 4,775 graduated in different fields.

JKUAT Chancellor Prof Joseph Mathu Ndung’u conferred Kipchoge of a Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) in recognition of the athlete’s outstanding philanthropic and humanitarian footprints, which have had immense impact beyond the sporting world.

The two-time Olympic marathon champion became the first human being in history to run a marathon in under two hours during the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna on October 12, 2019.

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Kipchoge’s humanitarian subjects include environmental conservation and education.

In his acceptance speech, Kipchoge noted that the honorary degree from JKUAT was a personal honour and a call to elevate his commitment of positively impacting Kenya and the global community.

“I am deeply moved and humbled to be recognised for what I consider to be my small efforts in advancing humanity and societal progress,” Kipchoge said.

Kipchoge currently holds five of the top nine fastest times in marathon.

In 2019, Kipchoge was appointed Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart by retired President Uhuru Kenyatta in recognition of his extraordinary accomplishments.

Twenty-five Doctorates and 315 Master’s degrees were awarded at the event.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said that Kenya was increasingly pivoting towards a technology-dependent economy, which requires universities to produce new cadres of graduates with the requisite skills.

Prof Ndung’u said that the university is implementing a pilot study aimed at decarbonising Kenya’s transport sector.

The Audi-funded e-mobility project involves the provision of electric motorcycles and solar-powered charging points in Murang’a County.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof Victoria Wambui Ngumi said JKUAT had remained the preferred university due to the quality of its academic programmes, which answer to market demands while supporting Kenya’s development agenda.

“During September 2023 intake, the university admitted 7,300 new students through the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service, of which, 352 comprised the first cohort for TVET programmes,” Prof Ngumi said.

 

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