St Gregory’s North America alumni sets up not-for-profit organisation

Publish: 7:00 PM, July 17, 2022 | Update: 7:00:PM, July 17, 2022

Alumni of St Gregory’s High School in North America have organised themselves into a not-for-profit organisation, Gregorians of North America (GNA).

GNA was incorporated as a not-for-profit organisation in January of 2022. Through the organisation, the alumni want to give back to the school and Bangladesh.

Dr Faisal M Rahman, founding chairman of GNA, describes the three core missions of the organisation as creating a database of alumni so that they can assist each other, using their collective resources to help their school and support the development of Bangladesh.

Towards that end and to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the prestigious educational institution, the first annual meeting of GNA will take place in Washington DC on July 30.

About 300 people, including 200 alumni, from seven decades, are expected to attend the day-long programme.

The event will include an interactive session with teachers and students in Dhaka and conference attendees, many of whom are working for major organisations – 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 organised themselves into task forces to help St Gregory’s educational programmes, facilities, teachers and students as well as develop broader implementable initiatives for the ongoing development of Bangladesh, said a media statement Sunday.

Wahid Shams, the founding secretary of GNA, said: “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 their roots.”

With the theme “giving back,” alumni speakers such as Dr Ajmal Sobhan, a renowned general surgeon in the US, will be featured in the programme.

Sobhan of the 1964 batch has worked extensively around the world for the poor and underprivileged.

In Bangladesh, he is running a drug rehabilitation centre in Manikganj, which was founded by Brother Rev Ronald Drahozel for the destitute.

As part of the first meeting, a special souvenir magazine is being published by Toitomboor Prokason with contributions from alumni 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.

Founded 140 years by the Catholic Order of Holy Cross, St Gregory’s counts among its alumni the first prime minister of Bangladesh 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 Economist Dr Amartya Sen, National Professor Dr Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, economist and public policy analyst Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, Lieutenant 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 Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun.