29 June 2005
June 28: His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims and founder of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), was today conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters, by the American University of Beirut, says a press release.
In its citation, the University praised the Aga Khan as "an avid philanthropist standing at the head of a network of service institutions focused on the have-nots of the world, Muslim and non-Muslim alike."
In his acceptance remarks, the Aga Khan praised the American University of Beirut for its commitment to developing future leaders for the region throughout its 139-year history, noting that AUB was not deterred from its mission of building tolerance and understanding even during the difficult period of the Lebanese civil war.
The Aga Khan said AUBís commitment to the universality of knowledge "is a core principle of my own faith-Islam-that learning is ennobling, regardless of the geographic or cultural origin of the knowledge we acquire."