An early morning start and wet weather could not keep more than 700 people from attending a sold-out presentation Friday by international icon Muhammed Yunusat the ninth annual Westmont College President’s Breakfast held at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort.
The pioneering Yunus founded Grameen Bank in 1976, inspired by the idea that credit is a basic human right in his quest to help end the struggles of the poor by making fair loans to those lacking good credit or the capital to start businesses in an effort to improve quality of life.
Grameen has loaned more than $8.4 million to poverty stricken borrowers, and Yunus’ banking model has led to more than 250 institutions in nearly 100 countries setting up similar micro-credit programs.
These efforts in economic empowerment and social business have resulted in Yunus receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, the U.S. Congressional Medal and theU.S. Presidential Medal, making him the first recipient since Martin Luther King Jr. of all three prestigious awards.
Yunus also accepted the Forbes 400 Lifetime Achievement Award for Social Entrepreneurship in the fall for his efforts to give people a chance and the ability to succeed by developing a sustainable framework to empower the poor.
Introductions from John Davies, chairman of the President’s Breakfast Committee, followed a welcome by John Ambrecht, Westmont Foundation board chairman, and three songs by the Westmont College Choir.
Davies spoke of Yunus’ humanitarian ethics and contributions to society.
“He is proof that one man can work to change the world, and we are thankful for his servitude to end world poverty,” Davies said.