Vol. 5 Num 1047 Sun. May 13, 2007  

Yunus awarded Nichols Chancellor's Medal

Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has called on Vanderbilt University students to help create a world where museums have exhibits on poverty because it is a thing of the past.

"The world cannot remain the way it is. It's our job to create the world that we want to live in. Nobody should be a poor person in that world. There's no need to be," said Prof Yunus while addressing the Vanderbilt graduates on Alumni Lawn as part of Senior Class Day on May 10, according to a message received from the USA.

At the programme, Chancellor Gordon Gee awarded Prof Yunus, an alumnus of Vanderbilt University, the second Nichols-Chancellor's Medal.

Vanderbilt University has been celebrating the Nobel Peace Prize since October in a big way since Prof Yunus is the first Nobel Laureate from the university. The quarterly magazine of Vanderbilt recently had a major cover story on Prof Yunus.

Prof Yunus in his address said the blame for poverty lies in unfair economic systems, not poor people.

"Nothing is wrong with (the poor)," he said, adding, "They're as good and active as anybody else ... Poverty is not created by the poor."

Prof Yunus entered Vanderbilt's Graduate Program in Economic Development for master's study and continued in the economics department for the doctorate, which he earned from Vanderbilt in 1970.

"Dr Yunus is a matchless example ... of how to live a fully human, peace-promoting life," Gee said.

"The methods he has implemented for alleviating poverty are practical, innovative and radically compassionate. He's brought great distinction on this university through his work."

Last year, first lady Laura Bush accepted the first Nichols-Chancellor's Medal on behalf of rescue workers who respond to natural disasters around the world.