Artist: Sedrick Huckaby
Location: Kirkland Hall
Muhammad Yunus was born in 1940 in the city of Chittagong, Bangladesh. He studied at Dhaka University in Bangladesh and later received a Fulbright Scholarship to study economics at Vanderbilt. Yunus received his doctorate in economics from Vanderbilt in 1971. He taught at Middle Tennessee State University from 1969 to 1972 and returned to Bangladesh in 1972 to become the chairman of the Department of Economics at Chittagong University. He developed the concept of banking for the poor and initiated Grameen Bank, an internationally recognized model for combatting poverty through micro- lending, in 1976. As of 2019, the bank had provided $28 billion in collateral-free loans to millions of clients, 97 percent of whom are women, in more than 82,000 villages across Bangladesh. The bank has elevated many people out of poverty and has maintained a repayment rate consistently above 98 percent. As a result of his efforts, Yunus has been awarded numerous honors, including the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom and the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal. He was named Vanderbilt’s first Distinguished Alumnus in 1996 and received the Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal in 2007.
Additional recognitions, awards and news
Photos of Muhammad Yunus