Former U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell to present inaugural University Lectures address Oct. 9
Former U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell to present inaugural University Lectures address Oct. 9September 17, 2001Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
The Hon. George J. Mitchell, will present “World Peace: An Impossible Dream?” at the inauguration of The University Lectures at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 9 in the Syracuse University’s Grant Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.
The University Lectures: Knowledge Crowns Those Who Seek Her is a cross-disciplinary lecture series that brings to the University individuals of exceptional accomplishment in the areas of architecture and design; the humanities and the sciences; and public policy, management and communications. The lecture series is supported through a generous contribution by SU Trustee Robert B. Menschel ’51.
Mitchell, who as served U.S. District Judge for Maine, was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1980 to complete the unexpired term of Sen. Edmund S. Muskie, who resigned to become Secretary of State. He was elected to his first full term in 1982 and subsequently served 14 years in the Senate, including six years as Senate Majority leader.
A year ago, at the request of former President Clinton, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat, Mitchell served as chairman of the Sharm el-Sheikh International Fact Finding Commission that examined the current crisis between the Israelis and Palestinians. The commission released its report May 21, 2001.
Mitchell also served as chairman of the International Commission on Disarmament in Northern Ireland and as chairman of the Peace Negotiations in Northern Ireland. Under his leadership, the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and the political parties of Northern Ireland agreed on an historic accord to end decades of conflict. Voters in Ireland, North and South, overwhelmingly endorsed the agreement in May 1998.
For his service in Northern Ireland, Mitchell received numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor that the United States government bestows; the Philadelphia Liberty Medal; the Truman Institute Peace Prize; the German Peace Prize and the United Nations (UNESCO) Peace Prize.
Mitchell also serves as the Chancellor of the Queens University of Northern Ireland; chairman of the International Crisis Group, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of crises in international affairs; and as president of the Economic Club of Washington. He served as chairman of a special commission investigating allegations of impropriety in the bidding process for the Olympic games and as chairman of the National Health Care Commission.
During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Mitchell served on the Finance, Veterans Affairs, and Environment and Public Works committees. He led the successful 1990 reauthorization of the Clean Air Act, which included new controls on acid rain toxins. He was the author of the nation’s first oil spill prevention and clean up law; he led the Senate in the passage of the first childcare bill; and he was principal author of the low-income housing tax credit program.
Mitchell is the author of four books, including “Making Peace” (Knopf, 1999), an account of his experience in Northern Ireland, and “Men of Zeal,” with Bill Cohen, (Viking Press, 1988), an in-depth look at the Iran-Contra investigation.