Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Albright calls education the key to world peace

woman speaking

Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright spoke at the Korbel Dinner Aug. 30. PHOTO BY: Wayne Armstrong.

Former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright joined the University of Denver community for the Korbel Dinner Aug. 30, lauding the nation’s pursuit of corporate responsibility and promoting education as the path to world peace.

Albright spoke before about 900 guests at the annual dinner held in honor of her father, Josef Korbel, who founded DU’s Graduate School of International Studies. This year’s celebration recognized Newmont Mining Chair and former CEO Wayne Murdy with the University’s International Bridge Builder Award and Denver philanthropists Robert and Judi Newman with the Josef Korbel Humanitarian Award.

The event attracted a host of dignitaries, including Gov. Bill Ritter, former Gov. Bill Owens, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Lakewood), and former Denver mayor and U.S. secretary of transportation Federico Pena.

Albright said the programs her father helped create, and DU continues to pursue, will mold tomorrow’s world leaders by helping them listen to, understand and exchange ideas with their counterparts around the globe.

Albright recognized many associated with the University as “visionaries” for promoting global understanding including her father, statesman and former DU chancellor Ben Cherrington, GSIS Dean Tom Farer and DU Chancellor Robert Coombe.

“International education is a platform upon which all can stand, and from which we can see the outlines of a better world, with greater justice and larger freedom, less suffering and more reason for hope,” Albright said.

Coombe said the Korbel awards were established 10 years ago to recognize those dedicated to making a positive impact on the world.

Murdy was selected for his efforts to promote ethics and corporate responsibility to the business community and for his work reaching out to the world from Denver. He said he was humbled by the honor and accepted it on behalf of Newmont’s 15,000 employees worldwide.

The Newmans were honored for their continued commitment to the arts and to the DU community. Robert Newman said full development of the human intellect is not complete without an introduction to the arts.

Ritter welcomed Albright back to Denver, where she grew up in the shadow of the DU campus, and commended DU’s international studies program.

“To educate kids in the ways of international studies is something we as a state should be very proud of,” he said. “We are world citizens, and I very much appreciate the world of the people at GSIS on that issue.”

Farer and Coombe said the University won’t be resting on the achievements at GSIS. The program continues to grow in reputation, scholarship and physical facilities. 

New programs include the recent addition of the Institute of Sino-American International Dialogue, which will be housed in a new annex and will focus on energy, water and the environment. The school is also collaborating with DU’s Daniels College of Business and Sturm College of Law to develop a new Institute for Sustainable Development. 

As GSIS expands its reach both in graduate and undergraduate international studies, adding new courses of study and putting new grants to work, the school is becoming more selective, attracting top students and instructors, Farer said.

“We strive to be the best we can be,” Farer said. “We owe that to our students, who are investing a lot of money and a lot of time in this school and in their education. We owe it to them to be the best.”

Albright said DU continues to build on her father’s vision.

“If my father were still alive, he would be incredibly proud of what the Graduate School of International Studies has become,” Albright said. “If we were to imagine what a prospective world leader might look for in a graduate school, it’s all right here.”

Read about the Korbel Dinner protest.

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