On August 8, President Barack Obama announced that former Sen. Richard Lugar ’54, is one of 16 recipients of the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Other recipients include President Bill Clinton, late astronaut Sally Ride, singer Loretta Lynn, activist Gloria Steinem, broadcaster Oprah Winfrey, and minister Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian.
Lugar, who served in the Senate for more than 30 years representing his home state of Indiana, is currently the president of the Lugar Center, an organization aimed at educating policy makers and the public on world issues, such as food and energy security, global development, bipartisan politics, and the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
In 1991, Lugar teamed up with Sen. Sam Nunn to create the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program aimed at reducing the threat of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons in the Soviet Union. The program managed to deactivate 13,300 nuclear warheads declared in Moscow, and its success led Congress to expand the program, which is now aimed at reducing threats worldwide.
Lugar, a member of Denison’s board of trustees, and the other recipients of the Medal of Freedom will receive the honor at the White House later this year, the 50th anniversary of the medal’s creation by President John F. Kennedy.