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

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

Get exclusive access to breaking CampusReform stories as they happen. Sign up below and we'll keep you in the loop.
 Weekly Digest

 Daily Emails

Oliver Darcy
Oliver Darcy | Former Reporter

Oliver Darcy is the former editor of digital media for Campus Reform, where he was tasked with reporting on waste, fraud, and abuse taking place on our nation's college campuses. Additionally, he was responsible for editing the website’s video content and graphic design. Prior to joining the Leadership Institute, Oliver founded, a video driven website dedicated to exposing the inherent failures found at the core of liberal philosophies. He is currently Oliver holds his bachelors of arts degree in political science, with an emphasis in both International Relations and American Politics, from the University of California at Merced.

20 Articles by Oliver Darcy