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Enan Galaly receives honorary doctorate

On Tuesday, June 10, J. F. Oberlin University conferred an honorary Doctor of International Studies degree on Mr. Enan Galaly, the founder and president of the Helnan International Group. Mr. Galaly accepted the degree from Chancellor Toyoshi Satow and President Takayasu Mitani in the chapel, Keikando, in a ceremony that was attended by students, faculty, and staff.

A native of Egypt, Mr. Galaly left home at the age of 20 and went first to Austria and then to Denmark, where he found work washing dishes. From this low rung in the kitchen, Mr. Galaly began ascending the ladder of success in the hotel industry. In 1971, still in his early twenties, he was appointed Assistant Manager of the Hvide Hus Hotel in Aalborg, Denmark, and in 1975 he became General Manager of the same hotel. In 1977, he had risen to the position of President of the Hvide Hus Hotel Chain, the largest hotel group in Denmark. In 1982, based on the experience he had acquired in Denmark, Mr. Galaly founded the Helnan International Hotel Group. With its slogan “The Symbol of Scandinavian Hospitality,” Helnan has consolidated a global service standard, operating about 40 first-class hotels in various parts of the world.

In addition to his entrepreneurial successes, Mr. Galaly has long been involved in furthering the cause of higher education. He has served for many years as a senior advisor to the International Association of University Presidents, and he has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his efforts to deepen intercultural understanding.

After receiving his honorary degree, he delivered an address entitled “The Global Citizen,” in which he reflected on his career and urged the audience to “respect people regardless of their nationality, values, traditions, races, beliefs, color or opinions.”


Left: Dr. Enan Galaly addresses the audience in Keikando. Right: Dr. Galaly receives his honorary doctorate from Chancellor Toyoshi Satow (right) and President Takayasu Mitani (left).

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