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International security center opens at Korbel School

Sie Center for International Security

The SIE CHEOU-KANG Center for International Security and Diplomacy opened in August 2009. Photo: Wayne Armstrong

DU’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies will educate a new generation of international security specialists and diplomats at the SIÉ CHÉOU-KANG Center for International Security and Diplomacy, an addition to Ben Cherrington Hall that opened in August.

The SIÉ Center will provide leadership training for SIÉ Fellows, a program consisting of 10 international security specialists and diplomats that will begin in fall 2010. The center also will provide students at the Korbel School with a new resource for studying global security, policy and diplomacy issues.

The center is named for Sié Chéou-Kang, the father of DU trustee John Sie. Sié Chéou-Kang was a diplomat, educator, author and playwright who spent much of his adult life in Europe forging relationships on behalf of China.

“This center is extremely important to the University of Denver, this city, the region and the world,” Chancellor Robert Coombe told a crowd of nearly 300 supporters at the building’s opening ceremony on Aug. 7. “If the city of Denver is to be a great international city, then the University of Denver must be a great international university, and that is our objective.”

Coombe said the SIÉ Center provides another opportunity for the Josef Korbel School to build its reputation as one of the premier international studies programs in the world.

“Our students will have many outstanding opportunities to interact with top leaders in the fields of security, policy and diplomacy,” he said. “Like so many of our graduates who now hold pivotal positions throughout the world, they will be prepared to address the great issues of our time.”

The center has many Asian design elements, including a roof of blue-glazed Asian tiles and a Japanese-style courtyard garden of rock forms focused on a magnolia tree. It was constructed using the Green Building Rating System, which focuses on the highest standards in energy conservation as developed by LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The center and the annex constructed for it were developed through a $5 million commitment from the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation. In addition, the foundation has endowed a chair for a scholar to lead the program.

John Sie delivered an emotional address at the opening ceremony, recalling the important lessons he learned from his father and mother and his hope for the future of global relations.

“Today marks the opening of a building and a new commitment at the University to international security and diplomacy,” he said. “I’m simply overwhelmed.”

Sie spoke candidly about his father’s work as a respected diplomat. He said he learned integrity, the pursuit of excellence and selfless commitment to others from his father. And through his mother, Sie said, he developed a moral compass that guides him today.

“Today we are here to honor my father and mother,” he said.

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