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Augsburg CGEE Students Meet Bill Clinton in Northern Ireland

In April 2023, Northern Ireland celebrates 25 years of the Good Friday Agreement that brought an end to the time period known as The Troubles.

This event has coincided with Augsburg CGEE’s launch of our newest semester program out of the city Derry-Londonderry, titled “Peace, Conflict and Transition in Northern Ireland.” On this program, our students learn about the history and cultural context that led to the Troubles as well as the peacemaking process. With all of the excitement, our two students on the inaugural program were able to attend the Hume Foundation’s Event “Making Hope and History Rhyme” and meet Bill Clinton and shake his hand. The following post is written by Daisy Vinkemeier (Augsburg ’26). Thanks to Daisy for the reflections and the photos!

“Thanks to my internship with Northwest Cultural Partnership, Lauren Schenk [CGEE student from Macalester College] and I were able to attend “A Tribute to John Hume & David Trimble, 1998 Nobel Peace Prize Laureates” where former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker. The event reflected on the impact of Hume and Trimble, specifically in regards to the peace process here in Northern Ireland. The event MC was Bronagh Gallagher, and included performances by Roe, Neil Hannon, Phil Coulter, and the Ulster University Choir. It also had speeches by Nicholas Trimble (David Trimble’s Son), and Rachel Hume (John Hume’s granddaughter), and two young students.

Two young woman shake hands with Bill Clinton
(Daisy, pictured left, and Lauren, middle, meet Bill Clinton outside of Londonderry’s Guildhall in April 2023)

Former President Bill Clinton gave an excellent keynote speech in honor of Hume and Trimble. He had spent time with them while they were alive and you could see the sadness of their passing in Clinton as he spoke (see the BBC Article on the speech).

Following the event, we had the opportunity to shake hands with Clinton and grab a photo with him. Truly a life changing and inspiring event that I will treasure forever. I am very thankful for the opportunity to attend this event and thankful to Augsburg’s study abroad program for all of my opportunities here in Northern Ireland.”

The Hume Foundation live streamed the event on YouTube (approximately 1:10:05 is when Former President Bill Clinton begins his address).