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Mariam Chowdhury Corner for Global Citizenship Inaugurated

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Soka University of America Honours Ambassador Chowdhury’s Life Partner

NEW YORK, 27 May 2023 (IDN) — The Soka University of America (SUA) located at Orange County, California, USA held a beautiful dedication ceremony this morning for the Mariam Chowdhury Corner for Global Citizenship at its campus. The beloved life partner of SUA’s Distinguished Visiting Professor Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations, Mrs Chowdhury was a friend and supporter of the university, accompanying the ambassador to campus over the last two decades to support SUA’s learning clusters and dialogues on the culture of peace.

Mrs. Chowdhury’s support for Ambassador Chowdhury never wavered as he pursued his life’s work of contributing to the practice of the culture of peace and nonviolence.

University President Dr. Edward Feasel officially declared the opening of the Corner in his welcoming words as well as shared his warm memories and recollections about Mrs. Chowdhury.

“Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to open the Mariam Chowdhury Corner honoring her great memory here in the residence hall where she stayed during her visits to SUA,” said President Feasel, adding that “I know Mrs. Chowdhury would be so happy that students will be able to use and be inspired by this new Corner for Global Citizenship at the university she loved so much and had such great expectations for.”

In addition, alumni remembrances were presented by Aaron Kuyper, Class of 2019, Astrid Dorantes, Class 2011 and Yumi Reker, Class 2008, each sharing their personal recollections and interactions with Ambassador and Mrs. Chowdhury. A video montage on screen during the ceremony was shown with images of Mrs. Chowdhury’s long association with the students and faculty of the university.

President Feasel recalled the relationship Mrs. Chowdhury and Ambassador Chowdhury developed with SUA university founder Daisaku Ikeda over the years based on their shared vision and commitment to peace, culture, and education. He added that ” ….Mrs. Chowdhury was always by Ambassador Chowdhury’s side, not only as his partner in life, but as an equal advocate and leader for the culture of peace,” Elaborating President Feasel said that “ … Their relationship was one of love and shared mission that inspired our entire SUA community.” 

As the plaque, placed at the entrance of the Corner, points out, Mrs. Chowdhury was passionately inspired by the university founder Daisaku Ikeda’s vision for global citizenship.

They resided in Abeona Hall 305 during their time on campus, actively engaging with the community and hosting informal gatherings and dinners for students.

The plaque further highlighted that “Mrs. Chowdhury embraced SUA as her family, extending love and care to its students, its faculty, its support staff and the broader community members. She loved everybody spontaneously and unconditionally. She cherished immensely the love, care, and respect she received from all at SUA.”

“Mrs. Chowdhury’s warm, loving, and peaceful presence will forever be a part of the spirit of SUA. She will always be remembered with deep gratitude, respect, and affection,” it added.

In a message of felicitations to Ambassador Chowdhury this morning, the President of the International Association of Permanent Representatives (IAPR), having a global membership of nearly 300 former and current Ambassadors to the United Nations, Ambassador Neville Gertze, Permanent Representative of Namibia to the UN said:

“Dear Anwarul, what a beautiful and thoughtful initiative to honour the legacy of your darling wife Mariam. May this special corner serve to inspire young people and future generations to appreciate and pursue the true values of kindness, compassion, respect, equality, peace and education. In short, may this sanctuary instill new resolve in all of us to commit to leave no one behind in the interest and for the betterment of humanity and planet. My warmest congratulations to Soka University of America on this most invaluable gesture of kindness and goodwill.”

The Mariam Chowdhury Corner for Global Citizenship features a thoughtfully curated library and a comfortably furnished space for students to study and engage in dialogue. Soka University of America is a private, four-year liberal arts college and graduate school and offers a 7:1 student/faculty ratio and study abroad for every undergraduate student. About 50% of Soka University’s students have come from the United States and 50% from more than 60 other countries. [IDN-InDepthNews]

Mrs. Chowdhury and Ambassador Chowdhury with the students at the Ikeda discussion group at SUA in October 2007 Credit: SUA





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