University denies they nixed plans to award former President Bush humanitarian award

Campus Reform Reporter
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University of Denver administrators say they never planned to issue former President George W. Bush an award for humanitarianism, despite a notice posted on the school’s official website suggesting he would receive the “Improving the Human Condition Award” later this year.

School officials say they never planned to honor former President George W. Bush with a humanitarian award when he visits the campus later this year.

“The website prematurely had the name as the improving the human condition award,” school spokeswoman Kim DeVigil told Campus Reform in an email on Wednesday. “[T]hat was a preliminary name and posted on the site before the University chose a final name.”

At least one news outlet reported last week that the university had caved to pressure and nixed plans to offer Bush the award after over one-thousand students and faculty signed a petition protesting the move.

The online petition, which had 1,489 signatures at the time of publication, accuses former President Bush of leaving behind “a legacy of human rights abuses” and sanctioning “torture of detainees.”

“As students, alumni, faculty, and supporters of the Josef Korbel School and the University of Denver, we urge you to choose an alternative recipient of the 2013 ‘Improving the Human Condition Award’ who better represents a humanitarian spirit, a commitment to human rights and human dignity, and whose contributions and leadership have truly resulted in positive change,” reads the petition.

It was initially said that Bush was set to receive the humanitarian award at the 16th annual Korbel Dinner on September 9. Past honorees include Condoleezza Rice, George Casey, and Madeline Albright.

However, DeVigil insisted to Campus Reform that “the Humanitarian Award is actually a different award from what is presented to keynote speakers” and that Bush was never scheduled to receive it.

She added that Bush will instead receive a “Global Service Award” when he visits the school in the fall.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @oliverdarcy