Cambridge University: Jesse Jackson made honorary fellow of Homerton College

US civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson has been made an honorary fellow of Cambridge’s Homerton College. He is pictured with the college’s principal Lord Woolley Credit: PA

Us civil rights activist Rev Jesse Jackson has been sworn in as an honorary fellow of a University of Cambridge college.

The 80-year-old was called a "civil rights icon" by the principal of Homerton College, Lord Woolley, who added he felt that he would "encourage others to be part of Homerton's extraordinary journey, to nurture the next generation of global leaders".

Rev Jackson fought for civil rights alongside Martin Luther King Jr in the 1960s.

Martin Luther King Jr (right), with Jesse Jackson (middle), after a summit meeting in 1966 to discuss Chicago's racial problems. Credit: PA/Al Phillips/Zuma Press

Born in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1941, he was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1968.

He was twice a candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, in 1984 and 1988.

Lord Woolley, who is also an equalities campaigner and the founder of Operation Black Vote, became the first black man to lead a college at Cambridge or Oxford after taking up his post in October.

He said: "As principal of Homerton, inducting Rev Jesse Jackson into the college community is indeed a great honour.

"Homerton College, within Cambridge University, seeks to have an international presence as a champion for human rights and embracing diversity.

"As such, having a civil rights icon such as Rev Jackson as an honorary fellow will encourage others to be part of Homerton's extraordinary journey, to nurture the next generation of global leaders."

Last month, the Prince of Wales said while visiting the college that promoting greater inclusion and diversity had always been a subject "close to my heart", and he had tried to support it for "much of my life".

Prince Charles pictured during a visit to Homerton College in November Credit: PA