A Special Gift Dedicated to Dr. Dawood Farahi

On June 1st, Dr. Dawood Farahi, the first Emeritus President of Kean University, visited Wenzhou-Kean University (WKU) as a special guest. After four years, he returned to witness the progress of WKU and was presented with a special gift, the Farahi Garden.

Dr. Farahi unveiled the garden

Representatives from Kean University and Farahi’s family attended the unveiling ceremony, along with WKU leaders, faculty, and students.

Located on top of the WKU College of Business and Public Management building, the garden offers a panoramic view of the campus including the central lake. The garden features various plants and multiple signs with Farahi’s messages of encouragement for WKU students to “start here, go anywhere.”

Farahi’s family

To commemorate the occasion, Dr. Farahi took a photo with his daughter and two granddaughters in front of the garden’s sign. Coinciding with International Children’s Day, students from Wenzhou Experimental Bai Luzhou School were invited to attend the ceremony, where they joined American children and high-level representatives from both WKU and Kean University to plant blue snowdrop seedings symbolizing WKU’s blue color.

Chinese and American children, as well as senior representatives from KU and WKU

During the ceremony, Ms. Felice Vazquez, Senior Vice President of Kean University, mentioned that Dr. Farahi was her mentor and had a deep affection for China. She expressed gratitude to Dr. Farahi for promoting educational exchanges between China and the U.S. and providing young people with opportunities to pursue their dreams.

Ms. Felice Vazquez, Senior Vice President of Kean University

“If we compare our universities to gardens, students are the flowers that bloom in the garden,” said Mr. Frank Wang, Chairman of Board of Directors of WKU. He explained that establishing Farahi Garden not only reflected WKU’s educational mission but also showed appreciation for Dr. Farahi’s dedication to founding WKU and boosting the Sino-U.S. exchanges in higher education.

Mr. Frank Wang, Chairman of Board of Directors of WKU

In his speech, Dr. Farahi noted that the establishment of WKU was once just a dream. With joint efforts from both China and the U.S., however, WKU has marked outstanding results that benefit an increasing number of students and parents. He thanked everyone who had contributed to the founding of the University and remarked, “WKU’s progress bears witness to Sino-US friendship and will continue to play a positive role in promoting cultural exchanges and enhancing friendship between the two countries.

Dr. Dawood Farahi, Emeritus President of Kean University

Dr. Dawood Farahi is the first Emeritus President of Kean University. He served as president from 2003 until his retirement in 2020. In 1998, he actively advanced cooperation between China and the United States in education by leveraging the friendly relations between Zhejiang Province and New Jersey State, as well as between Wenzhou and Union. He signed an agreement to establish Wenzhou-Kean University, which was officially established in March 2014. Dr. Farahi participated in and coordinated the campus design and construction, program establishment and student admissions at the university, playing a key role in fostering its growth. Since then, he has been continuing to promote and publicize Wenzhou-Kean University with his influence.

Translator: Shu WANG

Proofreader: Wenwei XIANG