"Harvard's hot," Paris Hilton declares

Wed Feb 6, 2008 6:28pm EST
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By Jason Szep

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts (Reuters) - About 200 Harvard University students waited more than an hour in bone-chilling rain on Wednesday for a speaker better known for hard partying than Ivy League appearances -- socialite Paris Hilton.

The millionaire hotel heiress won the dubious honor of "woman of the year" from Harvard's satirical Lampoon magazine, and she accepted the trophy in person with a quick speech.

"Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine standing here on the steps of the Harvard Lampoon receiving the woman of the year award," she told the students gathered outside the castle-like, red-brick building that houses the Lampoon.

"You guys are so hot," she added. "Harvard's hot."

The 26-year-old star of the television reality show "The Simple Life" kept the crowd waiting for so long that the head of the student-run magazine had to reassure the students that the event was not a prank.

"All of you can stab me if she doesn't come," Lampoon president Chris Schleicher said wryly. "She's really coming."

In many ways, Hilton's hard-charging lifestyle, party-girl image and tabloid fame are the antithesis of the Harvard experience. And many past Lampoon honorees boast weightier resumes -- from former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to actors Robin Williams, John Wayne and John Cleese.

Hilton is the first recipient of the Lampoon's "woman of the year" award.   Continued...

<p>Heiress and television personality Paris Hilton speaks to the crowd assembled outside the Harvard Lampoon Castle as she accepts the Harvard Lampoon "Woman of the Year" award at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts February 6, 2008. REUTERS/Adam Hunger</p>