Third Medal of Freedom Award Goes to Professor, Former Senator Lugar
August 9, 2013 – Former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), now a visiting distinguished professor of public policy at Georgetown Public Policy Institute, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award later this year.
Lugar is the third member of the Georgetown community to recently receive the award.
Last year, the award went to Madeleine Albright, the former U. S. Secretary of State who is now the Mortara Distinguished Professor of Diplomacy at Georgetown, and posthumously to Jan Karski, the late Georgetown professor and alumnus who risked his life to bring the first reports of the Holocaust to the free world.
The former senator is one of 16 recipients of the medal announced yesterday by President Barack Obama. Other recipients of the award include former President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and astronaut Sally Ride (posthumously).
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, created with an executive order by President John F. Kennedy.
“The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours,” Obama said in a statement released yesterday. “This year's honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation's gratitude.”
Lugar, whose 36-year tenure in Congress ended this past January, was the ranking Republican leader of the Foreign Relations Committee and a member and former chair of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.
The White House noted that he is an “internationally respected statesman … best known for his bipartisan leadership and decades-long commitment to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons.” Before serving in Congress, Lugar was a Rhodes Scholar and served as mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975. He currently serves as president of the Lugar Center.
The former congressman began bringing his expertise in international relations, arms control, energy, technology and agricultural policy to the classroom as a guest lecturer in the spring of 2013.
“Given Senator Lugar’s distinguished career in public service and his breadth of experience, we are honored to have him join us in 2013,” GPPI Dean Edward Montgomery said when Lugar's position was first announced. “Our faculty and students will benefit greatly from Senator Lugar’s expertise in a wide array of policy areas.”
The dean was pleased to learn about Lugar’s forthcoming award.
“We are very proud to have a lifelong public servant like Senator Richard Lugar on our faculty at GPPI, and congratulate him on his most recent prestigious honor – being chosen to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom,” he said. “From his distinguished leadership in the Senate to his tireless work on nuclear disarmament, he richly deserves this recognition.”
This fall, Lugar will serve as a guest of honor at one of GPPI’s policy dinners, which give small groups of students the opportunity to sit down with a leading policy practitioner for a candid conversation.
Lugar and University of Indianapolis President Robert Manuel recently announced the creation of the Richard G. Lugar Academy, a new Washington, D.C.-based internship program. Manuel previously served as Georgetown’s associate provost and dean of the School of Continuing Studies.