La Trobe University, Australia awarded honorary degree to Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath, Principal, Lady Shri Ram College
Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath, Principal of Lady Shri Ram College, one of India’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning, received a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) doctorate from La Trobe on Wednesday, 16 October 2013.
The award is in recognition of her outstanding contributions to national and international civil society initiatives that foster coexistence between communities and women’s engagement in building peace.
Lady Shri Ram College (LSR) and La Trobe have had an active exchange program over 17 years of engagement, following the combined initiative of then student Clare Tucker, Emeritus Professor Robin Jeffrey and Dr. Gopinath. Professor John Dewar, VC & President La Trobe University, Australia said that the link with LSR “is La Trobe’s most enduring partnership in India. Its success is due in large measure to Dr. Gopinath’s commitment and support.”
While at La Trobe Dr. Gopinath agreed to an expansion of our exchange program and offered to assist in strengthening our research links in several of our Research Focus Areas with the University of Delhi. She also conducted a round table with La Trobe’s Centre for Dialogue and met with senior people attached to the Australia India Institute, of which La Trobe is a founding member. Dr. Gopinath commented that returning to La Trobe was “like coming home” and amongst her many good wishes was the hope that we would retain the welcoming and warmth which had characterized the experience of LSR exchange students.
Dr. Gopinath has been Principal of LSR since 1988 and has shaped it as a center of excellence, which seeks to educate women to take up positions of leadership in society. LSR draws to its fold some of the best students and finest faculty strives to fashion best practices in democratic governance, the celebration of diversity, inclusivity and gender sensitivity. Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy in Myanmar and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is perhaps the College’s most famous alumna.
After graduating with Honours in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, she took her Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, USA and her doctorate from the University of Delhi. Her post-doctoral work, as a Fulbright scholar was at Georgetown University, USA. In addition to her work on higher education, her research interests and publications focus on issues of security, peace building, gender, Gandhian philosophy, Marxist politics, Buddhism and the performing arts.