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The University of Ulster today announced that £3 million of funding has now been secured for the John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace, which will be established at the University’s Magee campus.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett made the announcement at an event attended by members of the Hume and O’Neill families in Derry~Londonderry. Former US President Bill Clinton addressed the crowds at the event in the city’s Guildhall Square.

Recent donations from sources including the International Fund for Ireland and the American Ireland Fund, along with a number of additional benefactors, ensured that the University successfully secured the £3 million support for the endowed Chair in Peace Studies.

The Chair will form part of a wider initiative, building on the work of the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) at Ulster’s Magee Campus, which applies lessons from Northern Ireland’s peace process to conflict zones around the world.

Professor Barnett said: “The John Hume and Thomas P. O’Neill Chair in Peace will be a full-time Professorship which will leave a lasting legacy of their work in peacebuilding, as well as their friendship. It will enable the University to build upon its unique role in training the next generation of peacemakers from around the world at its internationally recognised International Conflict Research Institute, INCORE.”

“The new Chair will build on the success of the original Tip O’Neill Chair, supported by the Ireland Funds, which - under John Hume’s tenure from 2002-2009 - attracted an unparalleled group of international figures to the Magee campus including President Bill Clinton, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, European Commission President Romano Prodi and current US Secretary of State, John Kerry.”

The former US president was in the city to honour the contribution of John Hume to peace in Northern Ireland, and to help launch ‘Peacemaking In The Twenty-First Century,' a new book celebrating the Tip O’Neill series of peace lectures given at the University of Ulster’s Magee campus.