Students to attend World Summit

David Friedlander

Over 100 Quinnipiac University students will have the opportunity to attend the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates this upcoming year where they will interact with several Nobel Peace Prize winners such as former President Carter and the current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso.

David Ives, the executive director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute, has been able to work with these renowned Nobel Prize winners and bring Quinnipiac students to work with them.

“Albert Schweitzer was a peace prize laureate,” Ives said. “Because of that, I have been able to work with a number of Nobel Peace Prize laureates around the world including people like President Gorbechev from the former Soviet Union, the Dalai Lama, F.W. de Klerk from South Africa and Betty Williams from northern Ireland…”

Each World Summit is held in a location that is celebrating a particular anniversary, according to Ives. For example, in 2008, it was held in Paris to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. In 2009, it was convened in Berlin on the 20th anniversary of the removal of the Berlin Wall.

Most recently, it was held in Poland, celebrating the 30 year anniversary of Lech Walesa winning the Nobel for “leading the Solidarity trade union,” which conciliated a peaceful end to communism in 1989, according to the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates website.

For the past five years, Ives has brought Quinnipiac students to such events.

“I first started taking students from Quinnipiac University about five years ago when we went to Berlin on the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall…” Ives said. “So the students who went on this trip got to meet de Klerk and Gorbechev and some other people that were involved…I want Quinnipiac to be on the leading edge of international issues.”

This year’s World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates will take place in Atlanta, Georgia in November and since it is in the United States, travel costs will be far less than other years allowing for more representation from Quinnipiac, according to Ives. Atlanta was chosen as the location to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

For those attending, there will be a tour of the Carter Center and the Martin Luther King Center for the first two days of the five-day event. Then the final three days will feature the summit itself. In the mornings, the Nobel Laureates will be on panels discussing everything from nuclear weapons and the Middle East to poverty and boycotts, Ives said.

Since Ives is on the planning committee for this particular summit, he is making sure that Quinnipiac is very prominent at this year’s event.

“Each afternoon, Quinnipiac is going to have a time slot to present whatever we want, so we are going to celebrate QU,” Ives said. “There will be four or five thousand people there and I want anyone who is there to bump into someone from QU every time they turn around.”

There will be an application and interview process for students interested in attending the summit.

Keisha Paul, a junior who attended another one of Ives’ programs in Cape Town commemorating Nelson Mandela, says the experience was unlike any other.

“It really opened my eyes to what’s going on. I never really think about issues going on outside my door and it just opened up my eyes to the bigger picture,” Paul said. “The global aspect and just meeting people from so many countries and even just different parts in the US, it was just a very heartfelt experience.”

Paul also expressed her emotional ambiguity when recognizing Mandela’s impact on South Africa.

“I was expecting to be very sad, and mourning Mandela’s time being there but it was more of a triumph,” Paul said. “What he went through created something good. We don’t really think when we go through the bad that good is going to come out of it so it was really monumental.”

Ives wants to make sure that people all over the country, and the world, know about Quinnipiac University.

“We want to show off Quinnipiac…We, as a university, are doing what no one else in the country is doing,” Ives said.