The invitation to receive an honorary degree from Knox College came “out of the blue,” said Janet McKinley, who was presented with the honor during the college’s commencement ceremony Saturday.
“I was so surprised and truly honored,” she said.
She was joined in receiving the honor by former President Bill Clinton and Douglas Wilson, professor emeritus at the school and a leading scholar on Abraham Lincoln.
McKinley is board chairman of Oxfam America, an international relief and development organization, and spent 20 years in the investment business. She was global portfolio manager and a director of Capital Research and Management Company and was chairman of The Income Fund of America, one of the 10 largest equity funds in the country.
Despite the surprise invitation to receive the honor, McKinley said after the ceremony it is an appropriate place for her to be honored.
“Oxfam talks about the fact that poverty at its heart is a lack of rights,” she said, and Knox College has a history of supporting and recognizing human rights.