Wednesday May 23, 2007

Romero Winner Named Foreign Minister

Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of Doctors Without Borders, accepted the award that honors humanitarians before giving the Stander Symposium keynote address April 18. The symposium is UD's end-of-year display of student research and scholarship.

Newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy named Bernard Kouchner, the most recent recipient of the University of Dayton's Romero Award, France's foreign minister.

Kouchner, co-founder of Doctors Without Borders, accepted the award that honors humanitarians while he was in town April 18 to deliver the keynote address at UD's Stander Symposium. The symposium is an end-of-year display of student research and scholarship.

"Kouchner once remarked that the suffering of mankind belongs to all of mankind," said Mark Ensalaco, UD's Roesch Chair in the Social Sciences and founder of UD's human rights program. "The University recognized him with the Romero Award because we share that belief at the University of Dayton."

The Oscar Romero Award for Leadership in Service to Human Rights at UD is named for the Salvadoran archbishop slain 25 years ago while officiating Mass because of his outspoken opposition to his country's war and U.S. support for it. The award is presented to "an individual or organization that has earned distinction for the promotion of the dignity of all human beings and alleviation of the suffering of the human community."

Past winners of UD's Romero Award include: Juan Méndez, former director of America's Watch and president of the International Center for Transitional Justice and United Nations special representative on the prevention of genocide; Casa Alianza, which operates programs to help homeless and abandoned children in Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua; Radhika Coomaraswamy, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women; and Juan Guzman, the Chilean judge responsible for indicting former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.

The University of Dayton is one of the country's top 10 Catholic universities and home to the nation's first undergraduate program in human rights.

For more information, contact Mark Ensalaco at 937-229-2750.