Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, chancellor of India’s Amrita University, received a State University of New York Doctor of Humane Letters degree at a conferral ceremony May 25 in Slee Hall on the University at Buffalo North Campus.
Affectionately known as Amma, she is recognized around the world for the humanitarian institutions and services she has inspired and supported over a span of three decades.
She is the founder and chancellor of Amrita University, a leading private university in India with five campuses in three southern Indian states.
UB President John B. Simpson and SUNY Trustee Eunice Lewin awarded the honorary degree during a colorful ceremony that included original music composed for the event, an Indian classical dance performance, a video presentation of Amma’s international work, and music performed on UB’s C.B. Fisk organ, one of the premiere teaching organs on the East Coast.
“Through her leadership of Amrita University as well as through her humanitarian work, Chancellor Amma exemplifies the value of international collaboration and dedicated public service in the global arena,” said Simpson.
“Her personal example and leadership demonstrate the critical importance of international and cross-cultural cooperation, exchange and dialogue, and it is that spirit we honor Amma with the conferral of the SUNY Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.”
Since 2006, UB has partnered with Amrita University on collaborative activities that include dual-master’s degree programs in management and computer science designed to help fulfill India’s emerging need for highly trained managers in information technology-enabled services. Additional programs in medicine and social work are in development.
“Because of Chancellor Amma’s vision, thoughtful leadership and commitment to academic excellence, the University at Buffalo and Amrita University faculty and students have benefitted from an ambitious educational and research partnership,” said UB Provost Satish K. Tripathi.