Recognition of Dr. Mojtahedi at Stanford
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Our last recognition this evening goes to these two noblemen who could not be here with us tonight. In fact given the circumstances, we did not even ask them to join. Nonetheless their spirit is hard to miss around here as their vision and dedication touched us all and shaped our lives. They never met one another but they were truly the pious men who Sa’di told us about, as Dr. Kamali quoted: the ones you could trust them with the hair.
Mr. Leland Stanford along with his wife, Ms. Jane Eliza Stanford founded Stanford University in memory of their lost son in late 1800’s, and generously donated their fortune to this noble cause. Their vision made a history and in less than a century created one of the best universities of the world.
In another corner of the world, in Iran, Dr. Mohammad Ali Mojtahedi did not have a fortune to build a university of his own, but he believed in the youth of Iran, He was among the first Iranian students sent abroad for higher education in 1930’s. Upon completing his study in France, he returned to Iran and served the country’s education system for several decades.
In 1965 he was asked to build a new university, and be its first Chancellor called Aryamehr University of Technology that is known today as Sharif university of Technology. He accepted the challenge as it was his dream project. Through his worldwide travel campaign, he managed to assemble a world class faculty, equip modern university laboratories, and attract the most talented Iranian students. Today Sharif University of Technology is probably the most prestigious Iranian University in science and Engineering.
(Looking at the screen) Gentlemen, you managed to achieve a lot. On behalf of everyone in the audience I salute you both.
May many people, especially those who have the means and power, the influential people, follow your footsteps and build when they can, take the steps of reaching out, and use the language of wisdom and reason. May the great institutions that you built, will forever be the center of excellence that they are today.