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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2006, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Rowling has a degree of success
JK Rowling in Aberdeen
The author was honoured in Aberdeen for her charity work
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has received an honorary degree from Aberdeen University for helping multiple sclerosis (MS) research.

The best-selling writer, who lost her mother to the disease, received a Doctor of Laws.

Rowling, patron of the MS Society Scotland, has won fans across the world for her tales of the apprentice wizard.

She said: "I am extremely honoured to be receiving this honorary degree from such a distinguished university."

The fight against the debilitating disease has been close to Rowling's heart since her mother died from the condition at the age of 45.

I am thrilled - it is very exciting
JK Rowling

Dressed in a dark skirt suit, the author sat at the front of the city's Marischal College for the ceremony.

Professor Neva Haites, head of the university's college of life sciences and medicine, told assembled graduates: "JK Rowling is best known because of a book that she wrote in a cafe in Edinburgh which has made her a household name.

"Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone and the subsequent Harry Potter books have now been read by millions worldwide.

"However, what is less well known is Ms Rowling's significant contribution to many charitable causes."

Smiled shyly

She added that an example of this was the author's role as patron of the MS Society Scotland. She said: "For this and her many contributions to society, I have the honour to recommend JK Rowling to you for the degree."

She was helped into her red and blue robe and smiled shyly as graduates applauded.

JK Rowling
JK Rowling is the patron of the MS Society Scotland

After the ceremony, the author posed for photographs and took time to sign some autographs.

When asked what the degree meant to her, she said: "I am thrilled - it is very exciting."

Rowling, who has already been honoured for her contribution to literature by St Andrews, Edinburgh and Napier Universities, added that this degree was "particularly meaningful".

When asked by photographers to put on her mortar board, she joked: "Please don't ask me, it is so hot," before obliging. She later added: "It is not a glamorous life really."

Her husband, Dr Neil Murray, attended the ceremony and watched from the balcony.

She has made a large donation to help set up a MS research centre in Edinburgh.

MS is a condition of the central nervous system that impairs the brain's ability to transmit instructions to the muscles.

Rowling gives boost to MS centre
19 Apr 06 |  Edinburgh and East
Author speaks of 'MS scandal'
16 Nov 03 |  Entertainment
Rowling backs MS research
04 Dec 02 |  Scotland

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