GNA pledged to support Bangladesh’s development

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News courtesy: Grn Shahidullah Azim, Vice President, BGMEA

Alumni from St. Gregory’s High School in North America have decided to organize themselves into a not-for-profit organization, namely Gregorians of North America, Inc. (GNA)  with the explicit purpose of networking, supporting the mission of their alma mater and assisting Bangladesh in its upward trajectory towards a self-sustaining middle-income country. Towards that end and to commemorate the 140th anniversary of this prestigious educational institution, the first annual meeting will take place in Washington DC on July 30, 2022. Based on preliminary registration, about three hundred people including 200 alumni from seven decades are expected to attend the day-long program.

The highlights of the program will include an interactive session with teachers and students in Dhaka and conference attendees, many of whom are working for major organizations including the US government, multinational companies such as  Google and Amazon and world class universities such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins. Spearheaded by the former vice-chancellor of BRAC University Dr. Syed Saad Andaleeb, the GNA alumni group has organized themselves into task forces to help St. Gregory’s educational programs, facilities, teachers and students as well as develop broader implementable initiatives for the ongoing development of Bangladesh. The day’s program will be capped off with an elaborate cultural show featuring well known artists with music that transcends time.

Mr. Wahid Shams, the founding Secretary of GNA says, “This is a nostalgic, yet profoundly inimitable opportunity for risk-free networking with a highly-accomplished group of Gregorian brothers in North America who are poised to give back to its roots.” Along this theme of “giving back”, alumni speakers such as Dr. Ajmal Sobhan, a renowned general surgeon in the USA, will be featured in the program. Dr. Sobhan of the 1964 batch has worked extensively around the world in healthcare for the poor and underprivileged. In Bangladesh, Dr. Sobhan has been running a drug rehabilitation center in Manikganj, which was founded by Brother Rev. Ronald Drahozel for the destitute. GNA will be the springboard for alumni to give back to the school and to their country of birth.

As part of the first meeting, a special souvenir magazine is being published by Toitomboor Prokason with contributions from alumni luminaries such as Professor Emeritus Dr. Serajul Islam Chowdhury, Iqbal Bahar Chowdhury, Ambassador and Foreign Secretary Hemayet Uddin,  Ambassador Ziauddin Ahmed, Cricketer Yousuf Rahman Babu and Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam.  The magazine is edited by Professor Dr. Shawkat Hussain of Dhaka University with the assistance of an editorial board.

St. Gregory’s High School and College is one of the most distinguished educational institutions in Bangladesh. Founded 140 years by the Catholic Order of Holy Cross, the storied institution counts among its alumni the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh Mr. Tajuddin Ahmed, author of Bangladesh’s first constitution Dr. Kamal Hossain, the first Attorney General of Bangladesh Faqueer Shahabuddin, former President Dr. Badruddoza Choudhury, former Prime Minister and Vice President Barrister Moudud Ahmed, Nobel Laureate in Economics Dr. Amartya Sen, National Professor Dr. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Economist and Public Policy Analyst Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Lt. General Khwaja Wasi Uddin, the first US Ambassador of South Asian descent Ambassador Osman Siddique, Folk Singer Mustafa Zaman Abbasi, and Comedian Bhanu Bandopadhyay. Every cabinet of Bangladesh since its liberation has had at least one alumnus from St. Gregory’s, including the current Industries Minister Mr. Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun. GNA was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in January of 2022. Dr. Faisal M. Rahman, Founding Chairman of GNA, describes the three core missions of GNA as “creating a data base of alumni so that we can assist each other, using our collective resources to help our school and support the development of Bangladesh.” The founding Board of Directors (BODs) along with the core objectives of GNA are listed on its website www.gregoriansofna.org and the GNA BODs can be contacted by email gna-core@googlegroups.com.

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