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Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus, founder of The Grameen Bank, will kick off spring 2010 University Lectures schedule

November 20, 2009

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus will join a stellar lineup of internationally known guests for The University Lectures series at Syracuse University during the Spring 2010 semester.

YunusYunus, who has worked for nearly four decades to eradicate poverty through micro-lending, will speak on “Creating a World Without Poverty” on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel.

Yunus’ personal loans of small amounts of money to destitute basket weavers in Bangladesh in the mid-1970s planted the seeds for the Grameen Bank Project, which Yunus directed from 1976-83. The Grameen Bank was established in 1983, and Yunus has served as managing director since that time. The objective of the Grameen Bank is to help poor people escape from poverty by providing loans without collateral to support income-generating activities.

The Grameen Bank has advanced to the forefront of a burgeoning world movement toward eradicating poverty through micro-lending. The bank now has eight million borrowers, 97 percent of whom are women, and has lent more than $8.26 billion with a nearly 100 percent repayment rate.

Yunus is the recipient of the World Food Prize (1994) and the Sydney Peace Prize (1998). In 2006, he received the Seoul Peace Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize. This August, Yunus was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Yunus was professor of economics and director of the Rural Economics Program at Chittagong University in Bangladesh from 1975-89. He is the author of “Banker to the Poor” (PublicAffairs, 2003) and “Creating a World Without Poverty” (PublicAffairs, 2008).

Other lecturers for the 2010 spring semester include:

• March 2—sustainability expert Alex Steffen
• March 9—Scott Simon, host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition”
• April 6—Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund (this lecture was rescheduled from the fall semester due to a conflict in Ms. Edelman’s schedule)
• April 13—Nobel laureate and poet Seamus Heaney

Now in its ninth season, University Lectures is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to the University individuals of exceptional accomplishment. The series is supported by the generosity of the University’s Trustees, alumni and friends. The lectures are free and open to the public.

The Office of University Lectures welcomes suggestions for future speakers. To recommend a speaker, or for additional information about University Lectures, contact Esther Gray in the Office of Academic Affairs at 443-2941 or eegray@syr.edu.

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