The Carnegie Corporation of New York has recognized Dr. Beheruz N. Sethna, president emeritus at the University of West Georgia, for his contributions to the United States in the annual tribute to Great Immigrants on July 4, 2014. Dr. Sethna served as president of UWG from 1994 to 2013 and was the first Indian-American to lead a university in the U.S.
“I am honored to be selected by the Carnegie Corporation to be included in this set of Great Immigrants,” he says. “I have always believed that the United States and India are bound by strong philosophical ties of democracy, freedom of the press, entrepreneurship and business, excellence in academics, and the like. So, to me, being a naturalized U.S. citizen is my own one-person affirmation of the ties between these two great democratic nations.”
As it has every year since 2006, the Carnegie Corporation is honoring a group of distinguished immigrants and their achievements in its “Pride of America” full-page public service ad in The New York Times. The Corporation also salutes new and aspiring citizens on a companion website at greatimmigrants.carnegie.org.
“We owe the vitality, the progress and the hope we all have for the future of this nation to the contributions that each and every citizen has brought to the banquet table, including those who have come as immigrants, either recently or in the distant past,” says Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York and a naturalized citizen, in a released statement. “Andrew Carnegie was perhaps the best export of Scotland to the United States who subsequently became one of the champions of American democracy and philanthropy.”
Dr. Sethna was born and raised in India and has been a U.S. citizen for more than 30 years. He was the catalyst for many of the changes that elevated the school from a modest liberal arts college of 7,947 students in 1993-94 to an institution with full SACS Level VI university status, doctoral programs and national recognition in selected fields, whose full-time equivalent enrollment has grown by 50 percent.
Since retiring, Dr. Sethna has continued to be a steward to both India and the U.S. While in Georgia, he spends time at UWG as a Regents’ professor of Business in the Richards College of Business. While in India, he spends summers teaching English and science at Balgram, an orphanage school.
“I have contributed in my small way to the growth and benefit of both countries, and will continue to do so,” he continues. “I remain excited about the future of both great nations and want to part of that future.”
The 2014 “Pride of America” honorees, 41 immigrants from more than two dozen countries, are leaders in a range of fields. In addition to Dr. Sethna, they include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, U.S. ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard, authors Reza Aslan and André Aciman, Carnegie Mellon University President Subra Suresh, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Maria Contreras-Sweet, Nobel Prize winner in medicine Roger Guillemin; musicians Tan Dun and Dave Matthews, actress Sara Ramirez, actor/comedian Aasif Mandvi, and fashion designers Vivienne Tam and Carolina Herrera.
Carnegie Corporation of New York was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation's agenda focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy.