Minneapolis—May 12, 2010—Nobel Peace Prize winner and former South African president, Nelson Mandela, has been awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Walden University for his tireless fight against apartheid within and beyond the borders of his country.

Walden University was one of six universities in the Laureate International Universities network that conferred an honorary degree on Mandela on May 7 in Madrid. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities (LIU) network—a leading global network of accredited online and campus-based institutions. Other LIU institutions also awarding honorary degrees to Mandela included Universidad Europea de Madrid (Spain), Universidad Andrés Bello (Chile), Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (Peru), Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkey) and Universidad de las Américas (Ecuador).

“Nelson Mandela embodies the potential in each of us to effect positive change, and Walden is proud to present this honorary degree to a legendary leader whose historic accomplishments will continue to inspire future generations,” said Jonathan Kaplan, president of Walden University. “Education knows no boundaries, and through Walden’s unique, multinational community, we are creating educational opportunities for people everywhere to advance their lives and the communities they serve.”

Attending the award ceremony on behalf of Mandela was Vusi Bruce Koloane, South African ambassador to Spain. Also participating were Sathyandranath Ragunanan Mac Maharaj, a political activist who served time in prison with Mandela on Robben Island, and British writer and journalist John Carlin, author of the novel Playing the Enemy, on which the feature film Invictus is based.

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years as a political prisoner in South Africa before becoming the country's first black president. Mandela was a leading member of the African National Congress (ANC), which opposed South Africa's white minority government and its policy of racial separation, known as apartheid. Mandela is a worldwide symbol of resistance to racism. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, and in November 2009, the United Nations General Assembly announced that Mandela's birthday, July 18, is to be known as “Mandela Day” to mark his contribution to world freedom.

About Walden University

For 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 42,500 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 50 online and campus-based universities in 21 countries.

Walden offers more than 45 degree programs with more than 195 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration, technology and engineering. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.hlcommission.org.

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