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2014 Media Releases

Korbel School Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Sept. 22, 2014—In 1964 scholar and diplomat Josef Korbel founded the school that would become the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.  Tonight, the School’s extended community gathered at the Sheraton Denver Downtown to celebrate the School’s golden anniversary and to honor three individuals who embody the School’s mission and vision.

The program opened with remarks by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.  “Since its founding, the Korbel School has been an important part of our community,” said Hickenlooper.  “Students learn to become leaders who are prepared to take on global challenges.”

Later the audience enjoyed an on-stage conversation between Ambassador Christopher R. Hill, dean of the Josef Korbel School, and noteworthy alumna of the School Dr. Condoleezza Rice.  Topics discussed included Iraq, Russia, immigration and much more.

Speaking about the Korbel School, Rice said, “The Korbel School has trained people who matter.  You have a great faculty and a tradition of students who will go onto matter.”

Following their conversation, Hill announced the Rice Family Professor of Practice, an endowed professorship. 

A highpoint of the evening was the presentation of the annual Korbel Dinner awards to three individuals who have significantly impacted Colorado and the world. 

Hill presented local philanthropists Anna and John J. Sie with the Josef Korbel Humanitarian Award for their generous philanthropic work.  Hill explained, “Anna and John are truly pillars of the community.  They have used their acumen and their passion in ways that have benefited many people and organizations here in Colorado and around the globe.”

"We believe that a robust relations amongst nations, based on mutual respect, mutual understanding, and mutual trust is the cornerstone for world peace and prosperity,” said Mr. Sie on behalf of both he and Mrs. Sie.

 “The Korbel School, under the leadership of Dean Christopher Hill, is the full embodiment of that."

Hill also presented Jeffrey R. Tarr, CEO and president of Longmont, Colo.,-based DigitalGlobe, with the University of Denver International Bridge Builders award for his work building ties between Colorado and the international community. “Under Jeffrey Tarr’s leadership, DigitalGlobe’s products and services serve as a vital resource for humanitarian aid providers, public safety organizations and others in making critical decisions,” said Hill.

Tarr added, “Your presence is supporting an important cause; educating future leaders committed to international Foreign Service, international commerce, and world peace and security for all of us.”

Additional information about the Korbel Dinner 50th Anniversary can be found online at www.korbeldinner.com.

The Korbel School’s 50th anniversary celebration will continue tomorrow morning, Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 8 a.m., on the University of Denver Campus.  At that time, the School will look ahead to its exciting future with the ceremonial groundbreaking for the Anna and John J. Sie International Relations Complex, made possible by a $17 million gift from the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation.