Professor Nasser David Khalili was made an Honorary Fellow by SOAS in 1992. Throughout his long association with SOAS he has made many important contributions to the School which include securing funds to build the Brunei Gallery. He is visiting Professor of Art and Archaeology here and was a member of the Governing Body for 15 years. He is also the founder of the Nasser D. Khalili Chair of Islamic Art and the main Khalili Lecture Theatre in the Philips Building has been named in his honour and in recognition of his support.
Professor Khalili is a world renowned scholar, collector, benefactor and philanthropist as well as a successful businessman. He has assembled a number of art collections that combined, extend to over 25,000 items, these include a collection of the arts of the Islamic World, Japanese art from the Meiji period, Swedish textiles, Spanish damascened metalwork and Enamels; each one being the largest in the world of its kind. There is a large series of publications accompanying these collections.
Professor Khalili has strong links with Oxford University where he established a research fellowship in Islamic Art and endowed The Khalili Research Centre for the Art and Material Culture of the Middle East.
Professor Khalili has been awarded the title of Trustee of the City of Jerusalem and His Holiness Pope John Paul II bestowed on him the Medaglia Pontificia, and in 2004 further honoured him by making him a Knight of the Equestrian Order of Pope St Sylvester (KSS) for his pursuit of culture and peace amongst nations. He has received many honours which include those from Boston University, the University of the Arts, London and is also an Honorary Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford.