In 2002, when Dana Mohler-Faria became president of Bridgewater State, he was only the second person of Cape Verdean descent to lead an American college. José Maria Neves, prime minister of Cape Verde, requested an audience. That meeting led to a surprising request: Neves wanted help not only in bolstering his country’s economic development, but also with establishing a public university. “We said, ‘Well, you’ve asked us to publicly, so we can’t say no,’ ” said Miguel Gomes Jr., a Bridgewater administrator.
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