At the Class of 1996 baccalaureate service, Brown President Vartan Gregorian introduced His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, leader of the Ismaili Muslims, who delivered the baccalaureate address.
For nearly four decades as Imam, the Aga Khan has amply fulfilled his father’s trust and his grandfather’s expectations. In spite of his youth, he established himself firmly not only as spiritual leader, but also as an enlightened guardian of the far-flung Ismaili community’s welfare and progress.
But he has done much more than that. He has become a major activist for civilized humanity and universal values. Not in words but in deeds. Not in one location but around the world. For he believes in the long tradition of Ismaili community values — that education, self-reliance, solidarity and character are the elements which keep a community vibrant and healthy and lead to enlightenment and dignity.
It was inevitable, then, that the advent of his strong leadership should bring about flourishing systems for welfare, learning, housing and culture. Under his patronage, dramatic action has been taken in the restoration of some of the great monuments of Islamic civilization.