Dina Castro Named First Bahamdan Endowed Professor

Shows five people standing together
(l-r) Vincent Pica, Kamal Abdullah Bahamdan (ENG’94), Provost Jean Morrison, Professor Dina Castro, and Dean David Chard

In honor of her exemplary scholarship, BU Wheelock’s Dina Castro was recently named the inaugural Bahamdan Professor in Early Childhood Well-Being, thanks to a generous gift from Kamal Abdullah Bahamdan (ENG’94). The director of the Institute for Early Childhood Well-Being, Castro has dedicated her academic career to promoting equity and quality in early education for bilingual children in immigrant, migrant and Indigenous families.

Castro’s appointment was celebrated during a formal installation ceremony on May 5. In her acceptance speech, she  highlighted the importance of educational equity in her work. “We should give every child access to a high-quality education and give them an opportunity to develop to their full potential—and not let outside societal factors be a barrier,” said Castro.

An investor and entrepreneur from Saudi Arabia, Kamal Abdullah Bahamdan has long been committed to educational investments and supporting educational causes, including institutions specializing in early childhood education. During the ceremony, he discussed his journey to BU as a student, his work in education, and the importance of supporting researchers like Castro. “My family and I are proud to endow this professorship,” he said.

The ceremony also included remarks from Boston University Provost Jean Morrison and David J. Chard, the dean of BU Wheelock. “I have watched her interactions with early childhood providers, parents, and children and saw in her eyes that passion drives her teaching and scholarship,” said Chard. “It’s the same passion for children and their futures that motivates Mr. Bahamdan.”