COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES, MAY 19, 2019
Adrian Zecha ’52
Doctor of International Business
Citation presented by Xiaolu Wang
Assistant Professor of International Business & Management
Conferring of the degree by Margee M. Ensign, President
Dr. Zecha, your contributions to the common good as the world’s leading creator and operator of award-winning luxury hotels and resorts, and as a philanthropist supporting education, healthcare, wildlife sanctuaries and reforestation in Indonesia, have benefited people in different regions and provided a new vision for an ideal lifestyle and aesthetic for the international community.
You are the legendary founder of Aman Resorts and realized a visionary philosophy to create elegant, boutique accommodations with a minimalist and environmentally sensitive approach, combining intimacy and style with unparalleled service. Over 40 years, you have founded a series of hotel management companies and developed over 100 hotels in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas.
You are a true Dickinsonian who has pursued many interests and career options. Born in Sukabumi, Indonesia, you earned your bachelor of science degree from Dickinson College in 1952 at the age of 19. You followed your brother, Allen ’50, to Dickinson at the behest of Dickinson Professor Lewis Rohrbaugh (class of 1907). In all, seven in your family have attended Dickinson, including your granddaughter, Adya, who is scheduled to graduate today. Congratulations!
Your father wanted you to become a doctor, and you began your medical school at Johns Hopkins University and later earned your master of arts degree in political science at Columbia University, with an aim to join the Singaporean foreign service. Becoming a journalist and fighting for free press in Asia were once your dream. You worked for Time magazine in New York, London and Paris.
At 39, you decided to begin buying hotels. You have enjoyed tremendous success with various hotel brands, and last year, at 84-years-old, you launched a new brand, Azerai Hotels. You once said, “I don’t believe that retirement is an option. If you’re still healthy and have the energy, why would you sit down and do nothing?” I hope I will be able to say that too when I turn 84!
Dr. Zecha, you and your family have always been at the forefront in family planning and prenatal healthcare and have worked to increase Indonesia’s economic stability and prosperity for all Indonesians.
President Ensign, for his achievements as one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and philanthropists supporting education, healthcare, environmental protection, arts and humanities, I am honored to present to you Dr. Adrian Zecha for the honorary degree of Doctor of Business and Management.
Adrian Zecha, upon the recommendation of the faculty to the Board of Trustees, and by its mandamus, I confer upon you the Degree of Doctor of International Business, honoris causa, with all the rights, privileges and distinction thereunto appertaining, in token of which I present you with this diploma and cause you to be invested with the hood of Dickinson College appropriate to the degree.