Former President Carter to visit QU

By on September 26, 2007

Move over President Lahey, another president is coming to town.

Former United States president and 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter will come to Quinnipiac on Wednesday Sept. 26 to accept a Schweitzer Award from the Albert Schweitzer Institute, and to speak about nuclear weapons.

The event, which will begin at 4 p.m., correlates with the 50th anniversary of Albert Schweitzer’s call for the end of nuclear proliferation. According to Schweitzer Institute Executive Director David Ives, Carter is well deserving of the award.

“I think he is one of the best examples of somebody who lived Schweitzierian values, and fell under a certain reverence for life throughout his life,” Ives said of the 39th president of the United States. “I think he is an example that our young people on campus can learn from.”

Carter is part of an Albert Schweitzer Institute honorary board that includes current president of Costa Rica Oscar Arias, Dr. Jane Goodall, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

As president, Carter often spoke out against nuclear proliferation. Carter and his administration worked on the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks II Treaty, which reduced the amount of nuclear arms manufactured by and maintained by the United States and Soviet Union.

“He got followed around by a guy with a black box for four years with all of the signals and codes to launch a nuclear attack,” Ives said. Ives also cited that Carter was also a submarine captain in the navy and worked with nuclear technology.

However, Carter’s appearance at Quinnipiac will not be enjoyed by all.

“We don’t have room for everyone that would want to come,” Ives said. “When the decision was made to use the rec. center, it could only fit 3,000 people in there. There are still a lot of people that are not happy that they don’t have tickets, and I know that, but I’m not sure what else we could have done.”

Ives explained that the TD Banknorth Center was an option they considered, but ultimately decided against it because “it would be hard to get 4,000 people up there in an hour.”

Tickets for the event were carefully given out by the Institute. All students in QU 101 and QU 201 classes (approximately 1,500 students), and students and faculty in leadership positions were given priority when handing out tickets. Ives said that the dean of each school was given 10 tickets to hand out to students who have demonstrated leadership inside their respective school.

The freshmen and sophomores who make up the QU 101 and QU 201 classes will also make up 50% of the attendance.

“We thought that it would be good to expose freshmen, in their first year here, to somebody of this ilk, and hopefully it would affect them throughout their career here,” Ives said.

“Not that it wouldn’t be valuable to have juniors and seniors see him, and there are some that are getting in, but we felt that freshmen would benefit greatly from being exposed to him.”

The speech will be simulcast in Alumni Hall for people who did not get tickets to see Carter speak.

The Secret Service, Connecticut State Police, and Hamden Police will be present while the former president visits the Quinnipiac campus. According to Ives, the last time the Secret Service was at Quinnipiac was for Hillary Clinton, when the former first lady and 2008 presidential nominee came to speak in 2001.

Ives said that in the future the Albert Schweitzer Institute hopes to attract big names like Carter to come speak at Quinnipiac. He plans to invite former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev.


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