from Sylhet for humanity
from here for the world
On this twenty-sixth day of October in two-thousand-nineteen, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG lays this foundation stone”
These words can be found on the foundation stone laid for Brac University’s (BracU) permanent campus in Merul Badda of Dhaka on Saturday, 26 October, 2019.
The words are simple yet give a thematic representation of the legacy of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, KCMG, the founder and chairperson emeritus of the BracU Board of Trustees, alongside BracU transitioning and moving forward.
Sir Fazle founded BRAC which started its journey from Sulla, a remote upazila of Sunamganj district in Sylhet division, which is his hometown.
He went on beyond the boundaries of that area and for the past 47 years worked for improving the lives of 135 million people around the world. Essentially, he dedicated his life to humanity.
This prompted the decision to have a piece of Sir Fazle’s hometown symbolically represent the new campus, from where minds will be elevated to go around the world bettering lives.
Two students and a faculty member went to Sylhet to source the stone. On the way back, the truck carrying the stone broke down, for it was too heavy. But, on being installed, the stone represents the warmth of homes, welcoming all.
Then the lines move on to “This university”, which refers to BracU President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Vincent Chang adopting “BracU 2.0”, a revamping of its vision and mission for transitioning into an international university.
The new vision is to make BracU stand out as a true global institution and flagship university bringing pride for Bangladesh while the mission is to foster knowledge creation, uphold human values and promote sustainable development.
These reflect Sir Fazle who embodies values going beyond BRAC, for which Brac University could be thought of as Sir Abed’s University, or a de facto Abed University.
The next words are “from here”, bringing forth the reader irrespective of where the person might be, entwining all as stakeholders in the future endeavours of the university.
And “for the world” reminds that though BracU is for the betterment of Bangladesh, there will be spillover effect, impacting lives around the world, hence humanity as a whole.
The last two lines keep to the present tense.
This is because though laying of the foundation stone was a historical event, those who witnessed it have it forever etched in their minds, recalling which gives an effect of it all happening right again in front of their eyes.
The present tense also represents eternality of Sir Fazle’s legacy, changing the lives of all who come in contact.