April 05, 2019SIU to give honorary degree to Thanu Kulachol, president emeritus of Bangkok University
by Hannah Erickson
CARBONDALE, Ill. — President emeritus of Bangkok University and former senator of Thailand Thanu Kulachol will receive an honorary degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale on May 11 during the commencement ceremony.
An international leader in education, Kulachol earned his Ph.D. in higher education from SIU in 1977, before returning to serve at Thailand’s oldest and largest private university, Bangkok University. In addition to his educational work, Kulachol also served on the Thai Senate and is currently on the boards of TPC Power Holding Public Co. and Thai Polycons PCL.
President and senator
Named president of Bangkok University in 1988, Kulachol spent 19 years building the 4,000-student college into a leading creative university in Thailand with international linkages and nearly 30,000 current students and over 200,000 graduates to date.
Twice during his time as president, BU asked Kulachol to delay his retirement, giving him ample time to expand the international partnerships to include over 43 countries, along with establishing the International College Building Bangkok University Gallery and Surat Library.
He received invitations twice to take part in the United Nation’s Secretary General’s Global Colloquium of University Presidents, sharing in the international discussion on higher education issues. Secretary General Kofi Annan handpicked twenty university presidents, with Kulachol and Bangkok University representing one of the five Asian countries chosen.
While Kulachol was still serving as president in 1996, the Royal Command of His Majesty the King appointed him to the senate where he worked for four years to strengthen private education in Thailand.
Long time connection with SIU
Dating back to his early years as a student, Kulachol’s passion has always revolved around education. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree from BU, he earned another degree from Farleigh Dickinson University before coming to SIU, where he completed his …