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July 10, 2006

Thai Royal Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol to visit law school

Thai Royal Princess to Visit UO Campus

For the first time in more than forty years, the University of Oregon will entertain royalty this week.

Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol, eldest grandchild of His Royal Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej and daughter of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, will visit campus Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 14-16, as part of an official visit to the Eugene-Springfield community on behalf of HRH the Crown Prince.

The princess on commencement day at Cornell The princess, who received a J.S.D. in law from Cornell University in 2005, will also make a private visit to the UO School of Law on Saturday.

The princess is visiting for several reasons: to open an exhibition celebrating the 60th anniversary of the king’s accession to the throne, to officially dedicate Thailand’s gift of more than 1,700 books to the UO and local public libraries, and to launch a new initiative adding math and science to the university’s highly successful distance-learning program in partnership with Thai public school teachers.

“We are supremely honored by this visit from Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand,” said UO President Dave Frohnmayer.
“We are deeply grateful to be singled out as the first university in the country to receive an official visit from a member of the Thai royal family during the 60th anniversary year of His Royal Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s accession to the throne.”

Russ Tomlin, UO vice provost for academic affairs who has coordinated the campus portion of the Princess’s royal visit, says the visit and the relationships behind it have broader implications for the university’s Asia initiative, which seeks to boost educational offerings and expertise on the fast-growing region. “The relationship with Thailand creates opportunities to expand UO engagement not just in Thailand but in other parts of Southeast Asia as well,” Tomlin says.

The last time the university hosted an official royal visit was in 1960, when King Mahendra and Queen Ratna of Nepal came to thank faculty members in the UO College of Education for help in establishing the country’s public school system, according to University Archivist Heather Briston.


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