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Alumni receive Cambodia's highest civilian honor
by Jim Karpen

MUM Alumni Association Newsletter    Translate This Article
18 April 2016


Maharishi University of Management PhD graduates Lee Fergusson and Anna Bonshek were recently awarded Cambodia's highest civilian honor by royal decree of the King of Cambodia in the King's 2016 honors list, based on the recommendation of the president of the National Assembly of Cambodia.

Called the ''Royal order of Sahametrei,'' the honor recognizes their distinguished services to the King and people of Cambodia in establishing Maharishi Vedic University in the 1990s with the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport of the Royal government of Cambodia.

The government will be sending a delegate to present the award and medal during the first Regional Conference on Maharishi Vedic Science to be held in Australia at the end of this month.

''MVU's 4,000 graduates now occupy senior roles in government, education, military, customs, and business,'' Dr. Fergusson said. 'For example, one is an advisor to Samdech Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly, and another established and is chairman of a network of four universities called the University of Management and Economics, with 15,000 students.''In 1992 and 1993, Dr. Bonshek and Dr. Fergusson were founding co-rectors of Maharishi Vedic University (Sakal Vi-chealay Vedic Maharishi in Khmer) under Maharishi's guidance and have been affiliated with MVU since then.

They also wrote a book, published in 2013, titledĀ Maharishi Vedic University in Cambodia: Education Reconstruction and Social Renewal. And they've published studies on the outcomes, with the latest paper on economic and social well being in Cambodia to be published in the Journal of Indian Education later this year.

In 2008 MVU changed its name to Chea Sim University of Kamcheymear due to changes in government regulations related to foreign involvement in education.

'While the university has expanded, with the government since putting in $20 million, it is no longer able to offer Consciousness-Based Education, but the Transcendental Meditation technique is still taught there, and its rector is an MVU graduate and practices the TM-Sidhi program,' Dr. Fergusson said.

Established in 1991, Maharishi Vedic University (MVU) opened in Cambodia in 1993 with 550 students. All the students learned Transcendental Meditation, and subsequently the advanced Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme, as part of the curriculum. For 15 years, until 2008, students practiced these technologies of consciousness as a group twice daily throughout their educational programme, creating coherence and harmony in the collective consciousness of Cambodia.

Copyright © 2016 Maharishi University of Management*

Adapted from MUM Alumni Association Newsletter

See related articles:
Cambodia: Maharishi Vedic University graduates give back to their country
Research documents how Consciousness-Based Education helped improve quality of life in Cambodia

*Maharishi University of Management (MUM) is a private, accredited university featuring Consciousness-Based Education, designed to develop the student's total potential. The curriculum offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences, humanities, and business, but also integrates self-development programs. All students, faculty, and staff practice the Transcendental Meditation® technique, which develops integrated brain functioning, promotes wellness, and enhances learning ability and academic performance. Other innovations include taking one course for 3-1/2 weeks with a three-day break between each course, and organic vegetarian meals. Visitors Weekends are held throughout the year. For more information, call the Admissions Office at 800-369-6480 [toll-free in US; outside US call: 1 641-472-1110] or visit

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