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Vice President Biden Helps Celebrate Annual Korbel Dinner

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Justin Beach

Jon Stone

Media Relations Manager

Jon Stone

Carrie and John Morgridge and Kent Thiry are honored at event

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More than 700 people helped celebrate on Thursday night the 19th annual Korbel Dinner. The event, hosted by the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, benefits the school’s programs, scholarships and centers, which are designed to serve the students and the community at large.

Vice President Joe Biden delivered this year’s keynote address. He discussed a wide variety of issues, both international and domestic. He talked about how the U.S. cannot move forward in the eyes of the world without support of the American people. “Sometimes those of us who focus on international relations and foreign policy lose sight of the need for a broad consensus among the American people for success around the world,” Biden said.

The vice president also had a message to students about the role they will play in making sure we continue to engage with the international community. “We need leaders like you are educating here to make the intellectual case, with rigor and conviction, that the benefits of global engagement far outweigh the cost.”

After addressing the audience in Magness Arena, Vice President Biden spent about 15 minutes in Hamilton Gymnasium. More than 200 students had gathered there for a watch party of the vice president’s address. After talking to the students, he took three questions from them.

The evening concluded with Chancellor Rebecca Chopp and Christopher Hill, dean of the Korbel School, honoring Carrie and John Morgridge of the Morgridge Family Foundation, as well as Kent Thiry of DaVita.

“Kent is a leader who truly embodies universal values by lifting up communities in order to enact real, meaningful change,” Hill said. Thiry received the University’s International Bridge Builders Award. This honor recognizes a local community member for achievements in building ties between Colorado and the international community.

“At DaVita, the bridge is actually a sacred symbol,” Thiry said. “We ask all new teammates after they have been with us for a certain number of months, if we’ve behaved in a certain way that reflects seriousness about our mission and about our values, we ask them to stand in front of the bridge, and we have bridges all over our village. If they walk across that bridge, it means they have declared themselves to be a citizen, a teammate of the village, not an employee of a company.”

Carrie and John Morgridge were presented with the Josef Korbel Humanitarian Award for their longstanding philanthropy and all they’ve done for global education, health and wellness, poverty and the arts. “Carrie and John are tremendous leaders in our community and beyond,” Hill said. “I am grateful for their pledge to improving the world in which we all live.”

“All of us have the same opportunity,” said Carrie Morgridge. “We have the opportunity to be kind to one another. We have the opportunity to do good in the world. All of us have it in us to be humanitarians. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who make that opportunity even bigger and grander.”

The Korbel Dinner serves as an opportunity to honor individuals whose leadership and commitment embody the goals established by the school’s founder, Josef Korbel.

Local media was in attendance for the Korbel Dinner. Click here to see coverage from the Denver Post9NewsDenver7CBSDenver and FOX31.