Archive for Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Cold War icon tapped for prize

Poland’s Lech Walesa helped defeat communism in homeland

August 23, 2005


Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa will visit Lawrence next month to receive the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics' Dole Prize for Leadership, an award that has been given to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former U.S. Sen. George McGovern.

Walesa, the first democratically elected president of Poland, received the Nobel in 1983.

Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy said Walesa was tapped for the award because he, former President Reagan and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev were responsible for the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end the Cold War.

Walesa, once a shipyard worker, became leader of the Solidarity labor movement that led the Poles out of communism. He rose to Poland's top post in 1990 and served as president until 1995.

Lacy said Walesa's life story is another reason he is fit for the award.

"It really shows the power that one individual can have in a lifetime," Lacy said.

The Dole Prize includes a $25,000 cash award.

The lecture is set for 8 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Lied Center. Some of Walesa's talk will be in Polish and translated.

McGovern received the award last year. Giuliani was honored in 2003.

The Dole Institute was established in 1997 to honor Dole, a former U.S. senator from Kansas and Republican presidential candidate. The institute aims to encourage student and community participation in public service.

The building now housing the institute on KU's west campus was dedicated in 2003.

Walesa speech

What: Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Polish President Lech Walesa will receive the Dole Prize for Leadership and give a lecture. When: 8 p.m. Sept. 22. Where: Lied Center. Tickets: They are free and available at the Lied Center box office or by phone at 864-2787, and are also at the Student Union Activities office in the Kansas Union and the Murphy Hall ticket office.


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