07/05/05 — Lancaster receives honorary degree from Irish university

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Lancaster receives honorary degree from Irish university

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Published in News on July 5, 2005 1:45 PM

North Carolina Community College System President H. Martin Lancaster received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland) on June 28. The honor is in recognition of his "outstanding contribution to education on the national and international arena."

The degree follows three years of collaborative work with higher education officials and institutions in Northern Ireland as they restructure their programs to be more workforce and economic development focused and as they design programs to produce closer working relationships between two and four year higher education.

Lancaster was the graduation speaker as well as the recipient of an honorary degree. In accepting his degree, Lancaster shared a glimpse life in North Carolina and how it relates to that of the audience.

"In North Carolina, many people trace their roots with pride to the soil of Northern Ireland," he said. "Many more know what it is to face an economy in transition, moving from the land and the mills into a future where knowledge -- and the quality of education -- will define prosperity."

Lancaster has also been involved in working on various higher education exchange opportunities for faculty and students between the North Carolina Community College System and colleges in Northern Ireland. The education exchange began with a study tour in 2002 to North Carolina community colleges and four public universities by a group of higher and further education leaders from the United Kingdom. Lancaster led a delegation on a reciprocal eight-day study tour to the United Kingdom in 2004.

Lancaster, a native of Wayne County, is a former member of the state Legislature and represented the Third District in the U.S. Congress.