Office of Public Affairs and Communications | December 9, 2017
Still to hold its first full-fledged commencement, Notre Dame University Bangladesh (NDUB) was nonetheless a star in its own right up until Saturday. Then it exploded to supernova prominence here with the visit of Pope Francis over the weekend.
The pontiff left the NDUB campus on Saturday to chants from the 10,000 in attendance of “Long live Pope Francis,“ and “Long live Notre Dame.”
Notre Dame has lived long in Bangladesh already, beginning with the fact that the mother of Jesus is a revered figure in the Quran. Also, the Congregation of Holy Cross has been a presence in this overwhelmingly Muslim country since 1853, when Holy Cross priests, brothers, and sisters were dispatched here by Blessed Basil Moreau at the request of the Vatican.
Since then, the near 70-year legacy of the order’s highly regarded Notre Dame College has fueled the more recent impetus from Catholic bishops, respected educators, and community leaders for the Congregation to establish a four-year undergraduate institution, to include master's degrees in business administration.
Rev. Adam Pereira, C.S.C., the registrar, said that Bangladesh officials from prime minister on down helped to fast track the NDUB application for licensing, leading to its official recognition in April 2013. “Everyone knows Notre Dame,” Father Pereira said of the college’s reputation for academic excellence and character formation. The new university, Father Pereira said, will produce students who are not only academically accomplished, but “they will have values in the heart, also.”
Multiple levels of Bangladesh society welcomed the expansion to a four-year college, Father Pereira said, because “people want what is good for the country and good for the formation of young people.” NDUB enrolled its first class of students in September 2013, and its first commencement is scheduled for next year.