Professor Muhammad Yunus
AIU is honoured to receive Nobel Peace Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder of the Grameen Bank as the first Chancellor of Albukhary International University (AIU) by virtue of his achievements that have conferred the greatest benefit to humankind. His appointment as the Chancellor of AIU is indeed a manifestation of the Philosophy, Vision and Mission of the University which are geared toward developing future leaders who are adaptable, balanced, well-rounded individuals, willing and able to serve humanity, acting as change agents in respective communities through a social business agenda.
Professor Muhammad Yunus, the Father of Microcredit, initiated the idea of social business and has devoted years to spreading awareness and knowledge of the model. His intriguing stories have been memorialised in his books about social business and microlending: “Banker to the Poor” (2003), “A World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism” (2008), “Building Social Business” (2010), and “A World of Three Zeros” (2017).
Professor Muhammad Yunus was born on June 28, 1940 in the village of Bathua, in Chittagong, Bangladesh. He pursued higher education at Dhaka University and in 1966 received a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University, USA, where he received his PhD. in economics in 1970. The following year, Professor Muhammad Yunus became an assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University. Upon his eventual return to Bangladesh, he headed the economics department at Chittagong University, and since then has assumed several academic and administrative duties including Professor of Economics at Chittagong University, Director of the Rural Economics Programme, Chittagong, Deputy Head of Economic Development Division, Planning Commission, and the Cabinet Minister Advisor.
Driven by his personal belief and philanthropic desire to eradicate poverty, Professor Muhammad Yunus established the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in 1983. Professor Muhammad Yunus intends to help financially deprived people who are non-traditional borrowers to escape from destitution by providing loans on suitable terms, and by guiding them with financial self-efficiency principles so they can rise out of poverty. The Grameen Bank model has advanced to eradicating poverty through this approach and has spurred other forms of microlending in more than 100 countries worldwide. Today, Grameen Bank has over 8.4 million members and has lent over USD12.5 billion since its inception.
Among Professor Muhammad Yunus’ many awards and honours in recognition are the Sri Lanka Humanitarian Award (1993); CARE, USA; World Food Prize (1994), World Food Prize Foundation, USA; lndependence Day Award (1987), Bangladesh’s highest award; King Hussein Humanitarian Leadership Award (2000), Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Japan; Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom Award (2006), and the Seoul Peace Prize (2006). He has also received all three highest US Civilian awards which are the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Therewith, Professor Muhammad Yunus is one of only seven people in history who have received these awards, along with Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. Forbes named Professor Yunus one of its “10 Most Influential Business Gurus.”