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King Mahendra A First Nepali To Receive Honorary Doctor of Law from U.S. University

Isolated from the globe, King Mahendra took an initiative to open Nepal to rest of the world. Having merely a diplomatic relation with dozen countries, King Mahendra started to contract with the globe.

In his effort, King Mahendra used the different channel to popularize Nepal in the international arena as an independent nation. The honorary doctor of Laws conferred by the University of Detroit to King Mahendra in May 1960 was an important milestone.

During his tenure as a Prime Minister Chandra Sumsher Rana also received the honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford.

In different times of history, various head of the states and government received an honorary doctorate from international Universities. Among Nepal’s high dignitaries Prime Minister Chandra Sumsher Rana was first to receive an honorary doctorate from Oxford.

King Mahendra was second to receive an honorary doctorate from the foreign university. University of Detroit Conferred Honorary Doctor of Laws to King Mahendra in 1960.

“I believe King Mahendra was the first Nepali to receive an honorary doctorate from a US University, and the second Nepali after Chandra ShumShere's Oxford honorary doctorate to receive any foreign University honorary doctorate,” said renowned scholar and former Principal Secretary of King Birendra Chiran Sumsher Thapa.

Thapa circulated even citation in the recent academic debate in a Gmail Grop.

Deva, Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah

His Majesty, King of Nepal

Honorary Doctor of Laws, 1960


 One short decade ago there took place in the shadows of the Himalayas a revolution of a kind seldom, if ever, heard of before - a revolution led by a King. For a century the Kings of Nepal had been virtual prisoners of the Rana faction which ruled with despotic power and had reduced the people to a life of misery and degradation. But, inevitably, tyranny becomes its own executioner. In 1950, an aroused populace and a responsive King put a dramatic end to the unholy rule of the Ranas.

The name of that King was Tribhuven Bir Bikram Shah Deva. Scarcely had the emancipated people fully grasped the reality of their good fortune when their beloved liberator was taken from them by the hands of death. But to carry out the task he had begun, he left a son and successor in every way worthy of himself, His Majesty Mehendra Bir Bikram Shah Deva, whom we are proud to welcome to the City of Detroit and to the University that bears its name. We welcome him because he restored a constitutional government that guarantees the rights of personal and religious freedom, equality, and the dignity of human beings, and in so doing bases his program of reforms on the natural law - a law more enduring than Mount Everest. We welcome him because his heart is set upon the advancement of his people by improving their standards of health and of living, by carrying out economic and social reforms, and by reviving the best in their cultural heritage. We welcome him because in promoting the welfare of the people of his Kingdom he has at the same time fostered friendly relations not only with neighboring nations but with the entire family of nations. Our welcome to His Majesty is especially cordial because as members of a University we appreciate the position of honor he has accorded to education in the new order which he has inaugurated in Nepal. As members of a Jesuit university, we appreciate his confidence in the Jesuit philosophy of education which led him to invite American Jesuits to cooperate in educating the future citizens of Nepal.

Undoubtedly, his study of history had acquainted him with the significance of a Ricci and a de'Nobili in the cultural development of China and of India. These men and their numerous Jesuit confreres brought with them the latest scientific and cultural achievements of Europe. It was not their purpose to uproot the native culture, but to refine, develop, and perfect it. Just so, the Jesuits of the middle

United States will know how to cooperate with His Majesty in integrating their educational philosophy with the cultural aspirations of his people. It is in a spirit of deep admiration for his noble part in the liberation and elevation of his people that in the name of the University of Detroit I present, Reverend President, His Majesty, Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Deva, for the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws. Commencement, University of Detroit, May 23, 1960.

University of Detroit [2]

The Degree was conferred by Dr. Allan P Farrell, Dean of Graduate School.



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