Albert Schweitzer Institute inspired by ‘Reverence for Life’ concept to teach young students values and commitment

Bruce Wallace

The Albert Schweitzer Institute is officially a main element at Quinnipiac University. With the institute’s affiliation, Quinnipiac has become an essential part of this internationally known non-profit, humanitarian organization.
Founded in 1984, the institute currently conducts educational programs in youth ethics and health-care development. Inspired by Albert Schweitzer’s ideal humanitarian service and “Reverence for Life” concept, the institute contains programs that teach young people values and encourage a commitment to community service.
The institute’s main programs in health care are the Schweitzer Conferences and Seminars for health care leaders. These meetings are held in Central and Eastern Europe and in countries of the former Soviet Union. They explore clinical, public health, human rights and ethical issues in order to foster health care initiatives that improve the lives of underserved populations.
Over the years, the institute has organized conferences, lectures and workshops, it has sponsored fellowships and awards, and provided humanitarian aid to developing countries. It has also publicly advocated the environment and world peace regarding human rights.
“We are very pleased to have the Albert Schweitzer Institute as an important part of our academic mission,” said John Lahey, president of Quinnipiac.
He said that the Albert Schweitzer Institute always has played an important role in health care, and so has Quinnipiac, so the two combined will obviously mesh well together.
“This affiliation provides an exciting opportunity to enrich our academic community with a heightened awareness of the ethical and humanitarian concerns that were central to Albert Schweitzer’s philosophy of life,” Lahey said.
Quinnipiac University decided to situate the center of the institute in the College of Liberal Arts Complex. The offices at Quinnipiac are located in the University Hall. The programs at Quinnipiac will focus on healthcare development in under-served areas. These are meant to motivate young people to serve the community and the environment as a way of life, and they increase public awareness of Schweitzer’s philosophy and its potential for a more peaceful and sustainable world.
“The partnership with Quinnipiac will help the institute expand its mission and achieve a greater impact,” said Chairman of the board at the Albert Schweitzer Institute Donald A. Croteau. “Quinnipiac is one of the most forward-thinking institutions of higher learning in the country, and we are excited about the possibilities this affiliation brings to both institutions.”
Quinnipiac is not the first university affiliated with the Albert Schweitzer Institute. Yale University has a similar affiliation, as do The Burger King Corporation, Merril Lynch, Hudson United Bank, and Bell Atlantic Mobile. Before Quinnipiac University became officially affiliated with the institute, the director and CEO of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital presented the idea to the university in a lecture at Quinnipiac’s Echlin School of Health Services on Oct. 2, 2001. These men also spoke at John Hopkin’s University, but they did not sign an affiliation agreement with the institute.
On Jan. 19 of this year, David Taylor Ives was appointed the new director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Quinnipiac University.
“The search committee was impressed with David’s enthusiasm, creativity, and vision, as well as his extensive experience in all aspects of non-profit management,” said Kathleen McCourt, senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Quinnipiac. “I am confident that David’s leadership will engage the entire university community in building the visibility and programming of the Albert Schweitzer Institute.”
With the signing of this agreement, both Quinnipiac University and the Albert Schweitzer Institute join forces to try to become the main non-profit humanitarian organization in New England.
“If my philosophy will ever emerge, the success will have to be credited to those who have undertaken the responsibility of making the concept of ‘Reverence for Life’ understood throughout the world.”
– Dr. Albert Schweitzer