London: Nobel peace laureate Muhammad Yunus was appointed as the new Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University on Friday.
The founder of the pioneering Bangladeshi micro-lending Grameen Bank succeeds eminent journalist and politician Lord Macdonald of Tradeston, who stepped down in June after a distinguished five years in the role.
It was also an emotional family occasion for 72-year-old Yunus with his daughter Monica, an international opera star based in New York, performing during a special event accompanied by musicians from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Although the role of Chancellor is largely a ceremonial one, Yunus already has a strong working relationship with the University through the recently launched Grameen Scotland Foundation, which will oversee the running of the first Grameen micro-lending system in the UK, The Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health in Glasgow, and the Grameen Caledonian College of Nursing in Bangladesh.
He has been honoured worldwide, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his pioneering work with the Grameen Bank which he established in his native Bangladesh in 1980s and which has since helped lift millions of people out of poverty through its micro-lending system targeted at the least well-off in society.
Last year, "the world`s banker to the poor" had resigned from the Grameen Bank following a protracted dispute with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina`s government.
University Principal and Vice-Chancellor Prof Pamela Gillies termed the day as "historic" for Glasgow Caledonian University.
"Being installed as Chancellor is a very happy occasion for me. As a teacher and then as founder of the Grameen Bank, I have always worked alongside young people. Because of this, I feel I have an easy connection with them. As Chancellor, I will share my experiences and make them see there`s nothing unusual in what I do and that they can do that too," Yunus said.