Brother Martin: An Educator born to live Forever
An educator born to
The best tribute to be given to Rev.Brother Prathip Martin Komolman, the Rector Emeritus of Assumption University as he marks his 80th Birthday Anniversary, is to recognize him for his life-long learning skills. Indeed an academic career spanning more than 65 years and encompassing five different countries in three of the world's continents can be best summarized in the manifestation of the Assumption University's three campuses in Bangkok and the one campus for experiential learning at Kanchanaburi.
Entrance to the Brother Martin Collection on the 6thFloor of the Cathedral of Learning Suvanabhumi Campus
Brother Martin is aware that change is constant and inevitable as it is with history, human systems and life itself. He therefore advocates the management of change as the capacity to keep agile and relevant. Brother Martin's highest academic qualification is in Interdisciplinary studies and management of organizations as a focus. This ignited in Brother Martin's vision to launch two degree programs-at Master and Doctoral levels in Organization Management and Development. Assumption University today is perhaps a premiere International University in Asia with trendsetting Organization Change Management studies. Conversations with Brother Martin yield a high awareness in him that Chagne is ineviable and indispensible in organization growth. To such extent is the Change agenda present in Brother Martin's work, one clearly witnesses the creative destruction of the old and archaic, for the new and innovative growth.
The lessons which Brother Martin teaches us include the following:
Let education liberate the mind from its limitations in the spiritual, material and intellectual spheres. By liberating the mind, education builds in new ways so that appreciative enquiry ensues in the approacha to thinking and perceiving the opportunities that come to us. At the entrance to the Brother Martin Collection, the 6th Floor of the Cathedral of Learning the clearest expression of this is found in the statement: There is much to love and to learn in others.
There is no single discipline which arguably accomplishes the human mind. Interdisciplinary learning is far more recommended to deal with the challenges and the opportunities we encounter in our living. The campuses erected by Brother Martin address this very scope and wisdom. The Hua mak campus is conspicuous for the use of its limited space and yet copious facilities. The Suvarnabhumi campus is a campus in a park where nature is brought back to students and students brought to nature so that they may think and fashion their minds and philosophies in life. The ABAC City campus is a lifestyle campus where the dignity of learning is located in the center of Bangkok city. The Kanchanaburi campus is resort styled where students can indulge in their favorite camping activities but also learn to be mindful of nature all around them.
Hard work and diligence pays richa dividends in the enterprise of learning. The constant and invariable message that Brother Martin imparts to his students of all ages is that learning diligently and with the enterprising mind can never hurt anyone. It only builds the capacity of resourcefulness,and the readiness to act. While walking around the Brother Martin collections, one comes across the reading shelves of Brother Martin's book collection. There one encounters an impressive collection of books in the realms of philosophy, politics, art, architecture, history, language, education,religion, business, and economics. Brother Martin most certainly is an avid reader. But what ne reads, he also translates into action and when one considers all that he has accomplished in building institutions, one also has to understand that Brother Martin's ultimate end is to build people. The teams of assistants that Bother Martin has built over the past many years have helped him accomplish the unimaginable in areas of education, culture, religion and art in the form of music.
Finally, among all ther things Brother Martin inspires us with his open mindedness, his humility, his intelligence and his willingness to embrace all alike into his vision of learning and growing for the sake of dignity and happiness. What one takes away from any interaction with Brother Martin is his thughtfulness with imagination, his civility and generosity, his deference and moderation and his affirmation that all of all in God's creation, humankind is the crown.
If one were to equate the life of Brother Martin to that of Angel Gabriel, in the 21st Century one would have to acknowledge the presence of optimism and fulfillment in his life as an educator,bringing to new relevance and importance the Christian God's dictum: Behold I come to make all things new.
Happy 80th Birthday Rev.Brother Martin. May you have many more happy returns of the day with long life and God's choicest blessings.
Written by:Glen Chatelier (Director, the Office of International Affairs)
*วารสาร CONNECT GSB Newsletter (YEAR 2 ISSUE 5 January 2014)