Korbel Dinner celebrates international relations school’s 50th anniversary

In 1964, scholar and diplomat Josef Korbel founded the school that would become the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Monday night, 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 Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. “Since its founding, the Korbel School has been an important part of our community,” Hickenlooper said. “Students learn to become leaders who are prepared to take on global challenges.”

Later the audience enjoyed an on-stage conversation between Ambassador Christopher Hill, dean of the Josef Korbel School, and Korbel alumna Condoleezza Rice (BA ’74, PhD ’81). 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 on to matter.”

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

A high point 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 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.”

Hill also presented Jeffrey 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,” Hill said.


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