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Duquesne Presenting Honorary Degree to Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe

As part of its 2015 Founders Week: Faces of Courage celebration, Duquesne University will present an honorary doctor of humane letters to Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, director of the St. Monica's Girls Tailoring Center in Gulu, Uganda, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5, at a special event in the Power Center Ballroom on campus.

Honored by Time Magazine as one of its 100 Most Influential People of 2014, Sister Nyirumbe is the subject of the critically acclaimed documentary, Sewing Hope, which will be screened at the Duquesne event and will be followed by the degree conferral.

Narrated by Academy-Award winning actor Forest Whitaker, Sewing Hope chronicles Sister Nyirumbe's work at the Gulu vocational school, where she helps to restore dignity, independence and hope to young women and girls-survivors who were kidnapped from their families and forced to be child soldiers during the tumultuous Ugandan civil war. 

A member of the Sacred Heart Sisters order and native of Uganda, Sister Nyirumbe first began her work at St. Monica's in 2002, teaching literacy and vocational skills to the young women, most of whom have lost or become estranged from family and relatives. "For these children, their rights have not only been violated, they have never existed," Sister Nyirumbe writes. "We are working, one day at a time, to restore their dignity and to give them the skills and support they need to move forward in life."

Under Sister Nyirumbe's direction, St. Monica's has taken in more than 1,400 girls. Because these girls no longer have the support and help from families and communities, the school developed a more comprehensive program that offers nationally accredited courses in tailoring, catering, secretarial studies and computer programming. In addition, the school provides many health services for the students as well as specialized care for those who are mothers with children.

In 2011, Sister Nyirumbe earned an M.S. in Community Leadership with a concentration in leadership in mission from Duquesne University. The part-time master's program was developed to assist sisters in integrating their spiritual formation with professional development in leadership and management to provide spiritual, ethical and organizational leadership in a variety of local apostolic settings.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.