“I really believe in the goals of the institute,” Abbott said. “Its important work helps students get a better view of issues around the world.”
The movie’s purpose, Abbott said, is to “help young people see the model that Albert Schweitzer’s life presents, and to teach how you can give part of yourself to other people.”
The film was shown in the Mancheski Executive Seminar Room to a crowd of about 90 people. Abbott and O’Brien were pleased with the turnout of students.
The film, also shown earlier that evening to a much smaller crowd, highlighted Schweitzer’s life, as well as his ideas. Along with great visual pictures of Schweitzer himself, re-enactments were used to give a better idea of what was going on in Schweitzer’s life.
The film highlights a trip Quinnipiac students took to Nicaragua. There, they served the deprived and poverty-stricken people by teaching them and building facilities. The trips can serve as life-altering experiences, Abbott said.
“Seeing how people live and work in less wealthy countries, every student comes back with new eyes,” she said. “It makes you value what you have so much more.”
Abbott and O’Brien both serve on the institute’s council of advisors, which features an array of people including Quinnipiac professors and students, as well as people unaffiliated with Quinnipiac, such as CEOs of major companies, doctors and professors.
The institute’s honorary board includes humanitarian champions such as former American president Jimmy Carter, former president of Costa Rica Oscar Arias, anthropologist Jane Goodall, and many other past Nobel Prize winners.
Schweitzer was devoted mostly to his musical performances and writing in the first half of his life and then devoted the second half of his life to serving people. In 1913, Schweitzer opened up a hospital in Lambarene, in the then-French Equatorial Africa. By the early 1960s, Schweitzer’s hospital could take care of more than 500 patients at once.
Schweitzer received honorary doctorates from many universities for his accomplishments, and in 1952 received the Nobel Peace Prize. Schweitzer died in 1965 at the age of 90.