Future of Ghana 2017 Judge and Alumni Sangu Delle was last week elected Director of the influential Harvard University Alumi Association to serve a three year tern. A true trailblzaer Sangu initially had received a full scholarship to study at Harvard in 2005. Since then he has gone on to establish the Investment holding Advisory company, Golden Palm Investments and co-found the NGO Cleanacwa to improve Water and Sanitation in Ghana as well as being an author and TED Global fellow. It was the achievements amongst others which led to his selection as a Future of Ghana 2016 pioneer.
Upon his election as Director Sangu released the following statement via social media
When I was 5 years old, I discovered “Harvard University” from a booklet that was sent to my father from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. I asked him what a university was and he replied “where you go to get smart.” I asked “whats Harvard?” and my father said, with his eyebrows raised, “Ohhh, that’s where you go to get REALLY smart.”
In my naivety, I wrote a letter to Harvard’s President at the time, Neil Rudenstein, saying “Dear Headmaster of Harvard, my father says this is where you go to get really smart. I’m smart but I want to get really smart, so when can I start?” To my greatest surprise, he wrote back and sent me materials on Harvard, but gently explained they don’t accept 5 year olds .
I continued to correspond with Harvard via letters from Ghana through President Larry Summers. Harvard was never about its rankings or reputation. For me it was that place where I would “get really smart.” It held a special place in my heart and was my lifelong dream.
Some people discouraged me. I’ll never forget when a European ambassador to Ghana said “my own daughter won’t even dream of Harvard…. it’s young and foolish for an African boy to dream of going to Harvard” and offered to help me get into schools in Europe, instead. I cried that day.
Fast forward to December 15, 2005, I get an email at 6:11 pm EST from Dean Fitzsimmons telling me that the young and foolish African boy was accepted into Harvard College with a full scholarship. Harvard was the greatest experience of my life. I love the school and I’m grateful for all she has done for me.
Today, I am so honoured to have been elected a Director of Harvard University’s HAA!!!
Thank YOU to ALL of you who voted for me for your trust and support. I will work my hardest to serve you and to ensure that Harvard becomes a more inclusive community.
Here’s to being a young and foolish African boy whose God never fails!!
Congratulations to Sangu for this fabulous achievement.
Future of Ghana (@FutureofGH)