The storm encircling the University of Denver over its decision to honor President George W. Bush intensified this week as several donors threatened to cut off funding if the university goes through with its plans.
DU Officials chose the former president as its latest “Improving the Human Condition” honoree, an award to be given by the university’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies come September.
That caused an uproar among select students, past and present, as well as some current faculty members. They cited the ex-president’s alleged war crimes, decision to invade Iraq and domestic surveillance programs, not mentioning that President Barack Obama has continued the Bush policy on drone strikes, hasn’t closed the prison at Guantanamo Bay and apparently has embraced the NSA’s existing domestic spying.
Now, the university’s student newspaper reports 10 alumni are threatening to “reconsider their annual donation to DU, gifts which would total $335,000, according to The Clarion.
The University already has bowed to pressure from its liberal students and faculty members, rebranding the honor as simply a “Global Service Award” to acknowledge Bush’s extensive efforts to help those suffering with HIV/AIDS across the African continent.
Update: The University of Denver’s public relations team sent Breitbart News this information regarding the title of the honor in question:
Since the inception of the Korbel Dinner in the late 90’s it is tradition to pay tribute to the keynote speaker. Since 2007 we have been honoring speakers with an award that recognizes the speaker’s individual contributions to global society. The award name depends on the contribution. For example Walter Isaacson, who was keynote speaker in 2012, received the Global Advancement Award; Ban Ki-moon, keynote speaker in 2011, received the Global Leadership Award; and Condoleezza Rice, keynote in 2010, received the Outstanding Alumnae Award. In keeping with this tradition and as appropriate, this year we will give the Global Service Award to George W. Bush for his Presidential and post-Presidential work in Africa on AIDS, cervical cancer and malaria.
The title “Improving the Human Condition” – a Josef Korbel School tagline — was prematurely posted on the website as the award title. It had not been confirmed when posted and several names were being considered. Last week the name was confirmed to be the Global Service Award. The school considered all feedback it received.