Doctoral degree awarded for service to the children of Cambodia

Scott Neeson, the founder and executive director of the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF), has received an honorary PhD in Humanities from the Pannasastra University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.
It was awarded in recognition of his sacrifice and dedication to improving lives of underprivileged children in the country through the work of CCF.

Since 2004, CCF has been working with impoverished communities centred around the former garbage dump in Phnom Penh. Today, around 2,000 children are in CCF’s award-winning education program working towards a better future for themselves and their families.

Dr Kol Pheng, President of the university, presented the PhD to Scott Neeson as part of a student graduation ceremony.

Calling Scott an “exemplary citizen of the world”, Dr Pheng said that the award was “in recognition of his great courage and compassion, with determination and extraordinary sacrifice to save Cambodian children.”

He spoke of how Scott, a former top Hollywood marketing executive, had “abandoned everything” and his life in America to move to Cambodia and start CCF.

Scott Neeson told the audience that the award was a “great honour” and thanked the Pannasastra University board of trustees.

Founding CCF, he said, had changed his life for the better.

“I may have given away all my material possessions but I’m full. I have a fullness that I never knew existed.”

Describing the change in his life as an “absolute gift,” he told the audience of young university graduates that “that fullness is something that you will not find with the latest smartphone, you won’t find it by increasing your number of friends on Facebook; you’ll find it by giving back and it was a lesson I was very fortunate to learn in a very profound way.”

It’s the second honorary award given to Scott Neeson.
In 2017 he received a Doctorate of Social Work from St Elizabeth University of Health and Social Sciences in Slovakia.

Kate Ginn/CCF

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