Official Opening of the MBI Al Jaber Building
Lord Patten of Barnes, the Chancellor of the University of Oxford, formally opened the MBI Al Jaber Building, the College's new auditorium, at a special ceremony on 23 October. During the ceremony the College President, Sir Tim Lankester, conferred Honorary Fellowships upon two significant benefactors to the project, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber and Dr Haruhisa Handa. A special recital by noted tenor Ian Bostridge CBE (also an Honorary Fellow of Corpus Christi) followed the formal proceedings. The event was attended by over 100 Fellows, benefactors, old members and students. After dinner in Hall, a short programme of music performed by the College Choir and talented student musicians was held in the Auditorium, marking the first concert held in the newly completed building.
Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber is founder, Chairman and CEO of MBI International, and as founder and chairman of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation has provided scholarships to hundreds of promising students from the Middle East to study at elite institutions worldwide. In 2002, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship at SOAS in recognition of his contribution to scholarship and progress in the Arab world, and is a member of their International Advisory Board. He is also UNESCO Special Envoy for Education, Tolerance and Cultures and UN Spokesperson for Global Forums on Reinventing Government. Sheikh Mohammed has also given to other new building projects at other UK universities, including University College, London and the University of Westminster.
Dr Haruhisa Handa graduated from Doshisha University in Kyoto with a degree in Economics. He was a postgraduate student at Musashino Academia Musicae, where he studied voice theory, and received an Honorary Doctorate from Edith Cowan University in Australia. Dr Handa heads B C Consulting, Tachibana Publishing, Japan Pegasus Tour and Misuzu Corporation and operates numerous Dr Handa also constructed a free emergency hospital in Cambodia, for which he was honoured with the decoration of Commander of the Royal Order of Sahametrai, Grand Officer of the Royal Order of Sowathara, and Commander and Grand Cross of the Royal Order of Monisaraphon. He is co-founder and Chancellor of the University of Cambodia, Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Fukuoka, and also advisor to the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia. companies in Japan and worldwide. His artistic and cultural accomplishments have led to his appointment as Tenured Visiting Professor in Japanese Studies at Zhejiang University and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Tsinghua University in China, and Visiting Professor in Management at Wolverhampton University in the United Kingdom. He is also an Honorary Fellow of SOAS. Dr Handa is known as an authority in the field of Japanese arts, culture and spirituality and has written more than two hundred books on subjects related to modern civilization, religion and economics, and has been awarded the Medal with Dark Blue Ribbon of Japan.