Campus & Community

Alumni gather in nation’s capital to celebrate Korbel School

More than 350 DU alumni and other friends of the University gathered in downtown Washington, D.C., on Monday to celebrate the naming of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Korbel’s three children — former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Kathy Silva and John Korbel — also were in attendance.

The school was founded in 1964 as the Graduate School of International Studies by scholar and diplomat Josef Korbel, who came to the University in 1949. DU honored Korbel by renaming the school after him last year.

“If one thinks about the alumni of the Korbel School and all they have collectively accomplished in the world, and are continuing to accomplish in the world, it’s emblematic of what the University of Denver is really about,” Chancellor Robert Coombe said at the gathering, which consisted mostly of graduates of the Korbel School.

Following his remarks, the chancellor introduced Madeleine Albright, who spoke about the historic events set to occur in Washington in the days to come, her family’s move to Denver in the 1940s and what it was like to grow up in a home where foreign policy was discussed every day.

“I am very proud to be Josef Korbel’s daughter,” Albright said. “Josef Korbel is the only person to have trained two secretaries of state, and I think that is a truly remarkable story.” During her talk, Albright recalled the first time she ever spoke to her father’s most famous student, Condoleezza Rice (BA ’74, PhD ’81), in 1987.

DU alumni expressed gratitude that the school had been named after Josef Korbel and that Secretary Albright and her family is actively involved in helping it become better known internationally.

“I think it’s an honor and inspiring to be connected with such an important family and legacy,” said Lisa Weilminster (MA ’08).

The Korbel School will hold similar alumni events in other cities in 2009.

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