Published: Tuesday January 15, 2013 MYT 2:43:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday January 15, 2013 MYT 6:28:11 PM
Najib conferred honorary doctorate by Ohio University
By TEH ENG HOCK
SHAH ALAM: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak credited Ohio University for its contribution to national development after the American varsity conferred him an honorary doctorate Tuesday.
The Prime Minister said Ohio University, in its partnership with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), helped develop programmes in business, accounting and communication which boosted the national talent pool since 1968.
"Although we had many natural resources, the path to modernity was not straightforward. We needed dynamic entrepreneurs, strong institutions and business-friendly civil servants," he said in his speech.
"Ohio University played a very real part in our national development. At a time when much attention is focused on the rise of Asia, its contribution to our history will not be forgotten," he said.
Since then, more than 2,400 Malaysians have graduated from Ohio University, making the alumni the biggest group outside the state of Ohio, he added.
"Engineers trained in Ohio built the bridges and buildings on which Malaysia's modernisation depended. Accountants and business graduates helped create a strong and internationally competitive private sector.
"And teachers and professionals ensured that the skills learnt in Ohio were embedded within Malaysia's institutions," he said.
Najib was conferred the Doctor of Humane Letters, joining the list of outstanding Malaysians holding honorary doctorates from the varsity, including the late 10th Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Ja'afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman, the late former prime minister Tun Hussein Onn and former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam.
Ohio University trustee David Brightbill said Najib's accomplishments as a national and international leader positioned Malaysia for success and international recognition.
"We are very honored that Malaysia is our friend and partner in international education. Together, we are fostering the development of world-wise scholars, who will make a positive impact on the future of our countries and our world," he said.
Najib expressed his delight in accepting the honorary doctorate, saying that it served as "a marker of the bond between our universities, our people and our nations".