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Donor Wall Honors Ambassador Sié Chéou-Kang

In the centennial year anniversary of the fall of the Qing dynasty and the start of modern China, cable television pioneer and philanthropic leader, John J. Sie, unveiled the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy donor wall at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.  The Sié Center and donor wall honors Sie’s father Ambassador Sié Chéou-Kang, who contributed to China’s modernization as a celebrated diplomat, author, curator and teacher.

The donor wall highlights Ambassador Sie’s accomplishments while underscoring the legacy that has been created in his name.  Ambassador Sié was an extraordinary diplomat, educator, author and playwright and spent much of his adult life in Europe. He held the position of Chinese Cultural Ambassador to several European countries including Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy and served as the diplomatic envoy from Republic Of China to Vatican for a total of 18 years. He developed personal close ties with Popes Pius XII, John XXIII and Paul VI.

Permanently engraved on the wall are the following quotes from dignitaries attending the SIÉ Center building dedication on August 7, 2009:

“Today’s dedication launches the bright future of the Sié Center, which will provide future world leaders with in-depth expertise in international security and diplomacy. As a renowned author, diplomat, playwright and educator, Sié Chéou-Kang was instrumental in promoting goodwill between different countries and their citizens.” (Bill Ritter Jr. Colorado Governor).

“We are here to celebrate this remarkable $5M grant to the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy. The issues that John’s father faced are the same as we face today to create understanding between cultures and to learn from other countries.” (John W. Hickenlooper, Mayor, City and County of Denver).

“We want to graduate extraordinarily capable and extraordinarily talented men and women whose lives are going to make a difference in the world, whose work and commitment will to improve the human condition worldwide. This center is extraordinarily important to the University of Denver, to the people of the city and the region and indeed the nation and the world. “ (Robert Coombe, Chancellor, University of Denver).

“Within the walls of this superb architectural structure, we will host fellowship programs, conferences, lecture series and leadership development programs that will attract to Denver and to the University people from different parts of the world aspiring to or already enjoying their distinguished careers in the broad realm on international security and diplomacy.” (Tom Farer, Dean, Josef Korbel School of International Studies).

As a son of Ambassador Sié Chéou-Kang, I grew up with a deep curiosity and respect for peoples of different countries and their cultures. I would like to share with you my father’s life and his key principles that have guided my very existence: always have the highest integrity, always aim for the highest goal, and give generously of your time and resources to others. The Sié Center and its programs will bring global practitioners and academia together to pursue diplomacy toward achieving a secure and peaceful world.” (John J. Sie, Trustee of University of Denver and the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation).

“I am so pleased that the Sié Center for International Security and Diplomacy is part of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at DU under Ambassador Hill’s leadership. My father, a consummate educator and diplomat, would have been pleased to know that through the Sié Fellowship program we are providing important training our fellows will bring back to their homelands or countries of interest,” said John J. Sie.

DU’s Chancellor Coombe highlighted the importance of the center at the event. “The University of Denver has made a commitment to the Josef Korbel School of International Studies to cultivate the best international programs for students and diplomats.  The gift that Anna and John J. Sie have provided is a tremendous contribution to this effort.  We are grateful for their generous gift and leadership.”

“All who pass by this recognition wall will be reminded about the importance of creating a more secure world. We are grateful for Anna and John Sié’s vision to make the Sié Chéou-Kang Center a global hub for diplomacy and leadership and thank them for their commitment to our students and our school.,” Ambassador Christopher Hill, said.

Governor Hickenlooper, Chancellor Coombe and Ambassador Hill presented the donor wall that features an exquisite portrait of Ambassador Sié  by Xu Beihong, one of China’s most famed artists and art educators, and a good friend of Ambassador Sié.  The unveiling took place before an intimate audience including the Sie family, international leaders, trustees of DU, and the first class of Sié Fellows.

The Sié Fellows are an elite group of individuals from around the world focused on advanced studies in international security and diplomacy, as well as related subjects such as history, economics and human rights.

John J. Sie emigrated from China to the U.S. when he was 15 years old, fleeing a war torn China in 1949.  He established himself first at Raytheon in the defense industry and later as a successful cable television pioneer with Jerrold Electronics, Showtime, Tele-communications and the founding of Starz Entertainment.  He is a board of trustee for the University of Denver and sits on the board of the Denver Art Museum.  John is also co-trustee of the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation.  The Foundation has contributed to the University of Denver in many areas including establishing the Maglione Chair in Italian Language and Literature, the Peter Barton Lacrosse Sie Pavilion, the Fisher Inclusion Team at the Fisher Early Learning Center, and establishing the Sié Center building, the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy and the Sié Center Chair.

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