Tuskegee University announces speakers for commencement ceremonies


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (April 16, 2012) — Founder of the Grameen Bank and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, will address Tuskegee University graduates at the 2012 spring commencement on May 12 at 10 a.m. in the Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Center for Aerospace Science and Health Education. 






Fueled by the belief that credit is a fundamental human right, Yunus created the Grameen Bank, a micro-loan lending institution, in 1983. Subsequently, he helped propel the international micro-lending movement as a way to help poor people escape poverty and aid the economies of developing nations.


What started as a $27 personal loan to a group of poor craftsmen has grown into 2,564 Grameen branches in Bangladesh with 19,800 staffers serving 8.29 million borrowers in 81,367 villages. Grameen collects an average of $1.5 million in weekly installments. More than 97 percent of the loans are paid back, a recovery rate higher than any other banking system. Grameen methods have been applied in projects in 58 countries, including the U.S., Canada, France, the Netherlands and Norway.


Yunus studied at Dhaka University in Bangladesh, and then received a Fulbright scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt in 1969.

Baccalaureate ceremony

Dr. Rajiv Shah, the 16th administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will speak at the baccalaureate ceremony on May 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the “Chappie” James Center.

Since being sworn in on Dec. 31, 2009, Shah has managed the U.S. government's response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; co-chaired the U.S. State Department's first-ever review of American diplomacy and development operations; and now spearheads President Barack Obama's landmark Feed the Future food security initiative. He also leads USAID Forward, an extensive set of reforms to USAID's business model around seven key areas, including procurement, science and technology; and monitoring and evaluation.

Before becoming USAID's administrator, Shah served as undersecretary for research, education and economics and as chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At USDA, he launched the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a new scientific institute that significantly elevates the status and funding of agricultural research.

Shah earned his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and his Master of Science in health economics at the Wharton School of Business. He attended the London School of Economics and is a graduate of the University of Michigan. Shah previously served on the boards of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, the Seattle Public Library and the Seattle Community College District.

© 2012 Tuskegee University

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