Chancellor Yunus launches GCU New York campus

27 September 2013

GCU Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus at the launch of GCU New York

GCU Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus at the launch of GCU New York

Glasgow Caledonian University celebrated the launch of its New York campus with a reception hosted by its Chancellor, Professor Muhammad Yunus, and attended by more than 200 guests.

Key figures in attendance included Alistair Burt, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister; a representative of the PRME Secretariat in New York; Stephen Vogel, CEO of Grameen America; Nathan Elia, Senior Vice President of Scottish Development International (SDI) New York, as well as leading representatives from the city’s university and business sectors.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, told guests: “Universities are the engines of our economies, they ignite our imagination and curiosity, produce untold ideas and some universities, like GCU, also seek to put their best ideas into practice for social benefit

"The ingenuity, energy and creativity of the people of this wonderful city is just irresistible and I can’t thank New York’s university sector enough for the warm welcome and encouragement you have given us as we embark on our adventure.

Chancellor Professor Muhammad Yunus explained that the University would have a social as well as academic impact. He described GCU as an excellent example of how a university “can get into society and make a difference”.

He said: "GCU is wonderful, it’s a very bold university. This is a good way to launch this particular institution in this city: to show that it’s not just one campus - it’s a campus which has an orientation for the whole world. We are very happy to see so many important people participating in this historic moment.” 

Chancellor Yunus also spoke about the problems besetting the fashion world, particularly the conditions of workers in places such as his home country of Bangladesh, and he expressed the wish: “These are issues that we will be discussing at this campus and we hope the fashion industry and fashion leaders located in this city will join hands with this campus and make a difference in the world.”

UK Foreign Office Minister with responsibility for North America, Alistair Burt, said: “I am here both as a Scot and as a proud Brit supporting the very best of what we have to offer.

“In the fashion world, to have a foot in Glasgow and in London, and now a place here in New York, is going to present unparalleled opportunities for students. The campus will provide tremendous opportunities for young people to study both here and back in the United Kingdom - I hope New York will take it to its heart.”

GCU New York will follow the successful model of GCU’s London campus and will initially offer a range of non-credit and non-degree-related executive education programmes and masterclasses in key areas of strength, including the business of fashion, luxury brand management and finance and risk management. Following the granting of a charter by the New York State Education Department, GCU New York will offer a range of postgraduate programmes including courses from the ground-breaking GCU British School of Fashion, which was launched in London earlier this month.

Cara Smyth has been appointed the first Vice President of GCU New York. Cara is a former CEO of Menichetti International, a director of Burberry, and President of Jil Sander America. Cara, who is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, will oversee the setting up of the new campus in Wooster Street.

The launch event was held in the Stephan Weiss Studio, New York, and  guests also included Kate Bostock (CEO of Coast); Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, Executive Director of M&S;  Khalida Brohi, Founder and Executive Director of Sughar Empowerment Society; actor Monique Coleman, Marc Crumpton, television anchor; Brian Duffy, owner of Duffy Investments; Katherin