GRANVILLE, Ohio— U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, a member of the Denison class of 1954 and Rhodes scholar, is the first recipient, along with former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, of a new international award created in their honor to recognize individuals or institutions dedicated to advancing the cause of nuclear security. The award is cosponsored by Carnegie Corporation of New York, a philanthropic foundation, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an international think tank, and was presented to Lugar and for Nunn at the Peace Palace in The Hague.
Lugar and Nunn authored the Nunn-Lugar Act in 1991, establishing the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program. The program seeks to help the states of the former Soviet Union safeguard and dismantle their immense stockpiles of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, related materials and delivery systems.
“The Nunn-Lugar program is a triumph measured in more than the hundreds of missiles, thousands of warheads, tons of chemical weapons, and scores of biological pathogens now under lock and key or destroyed,” said Lugar. “It has been the basis upon which the United States has found constructive means to engage former adversaries and new partners, united by a common vision and desire to detect and defeat new threats.”
The CTR program reduced the spread of nuclear weapons by helping former Soviet republics meet arms-control treaty requirements such as the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. With CTR funding, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus became non-nuclear weapons states. The program also helped to improve the safety and security of facilities housing biological weapons under the Cooperative Biological Threat Reduction program.
Since its creation, CTR has contributed to the deactivation of more than 7,500 nuclear warheads, neutralized chemical weapons, safeguarded fissile materials, converted weapons facilities for peaceful use, mitigated bio-threats, and redirected the work of former weapons scientists, and engineers, among other efforts.
“I cannot think of two individuals more deserving of this recognition than Senators Lugar and Nunn,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation. “Not only is the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program one of the most important pieces of legislation in the latter half of the 20th century, it is also one of the most important nuclear security measures taken by the world up to that point,” he added. “We all owe Senators Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar an enormous debt of gratitude.”
The Nunn-Lugar Award for Promoting Nuclear Security will be awarded biennially by Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace to an individual or institution whose work has resulted in clear, discernible progress toward strengthening global security and peaceful co-existence among nations by preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and reducing the risk of their use. The award is a tribute to Andrew Carnegie, who dedicated much of his philanthropy to the goal of achieving world peace. The award carries a $50,000 prize.
Denison University has created two programs that honor Lugar and his dedication to public service. In 1994, the college established the Richard G. Lugar Program in Politics and Public Service. The Lugar Program integrates course work with internships in the federal government and provides a lectureship that welcomes former members of Congress, often a Democrat and a Republican, to campus every other academic year. The Richard G. Lugar Symposium in Public Policy was established in 2004 by the Denison class of 1954. The Lugar Symposium is a biennial speaker series that brings prominent public servants to campus to address issues of national and international concern in small classes and in a campuswide forum. Previous speakers for the symposium include Lugar’s colleague Nunn and Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright, as well as former ambassadors Christopher Hill and Richard C. Holbrooke.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling about 2,150 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement, and the cultivation of independent thinking.