College Guide


July 05, 2013 2:17 PM The University Of Denver: George W. Bush Is Awesome

By Daniel Luzer

The University Of Denver, which has either decided to just let bygones be bygones, or has forgotten everything that happened in America between 2001 and 2009, plans to just go ahead and give George W. Bush an award.

While institutional awards are always kind of BS (“oh, an honorary degree! this will be interesting for two minutes or so”) this one turns out to be pretty controversial. According to a piece in the Colorado Independent:

Hundreds of students, staffers and alumni are protesting the University of Denver’s decision to honor former President George W. Bush with an award traditionally recognizing recipients for their work on behalf of humanity.
The school hosts the Korbel Dinner to present… [an] award each year. In June, the Sept. 9 dinner was announced and invitations circulated both by mail and on the school’s website… saying the 43rd president would be welcomed and honored as the 2013 recipient of the “Improving the Human Condition Award.”


Right. Improving the human condition. This implies, of course, that the human condition was significantly better as a result of George W. Bush’s time as president of the United States. This is, shall we say, debatable.

In response, students created a petition objecting to the award. University of Denver subsequently changed the online information about the Korbel Dinner, which is the school’s most important fundraising event, to indicate merely that the 43rd president would be getting some award. It did not indicate the name of the prize.

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer


  • Bertha Kriegler on July 06, 2013 12:24 PM:

    For getting us into a war with Iraq based on lies - Bush gets an award? That war cost us in lives lost and billions of dollars. If anything Bush should have been impeached!

  • Sally Smith on July 07, 2013 11:22 AM:

    The Korbel award is named after the late Josef Korbel, a longtime Denver professor who was the father of former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

  • Demosthenes on July 08, 2013 12:12 PM:

    Well, W did good work in Africa, so I guess he can get an award for that. On the other hand, he was an unmitigated disaster in his own country, the Middle East, and come to think of it, everywhere else . . .

  • CDW on July 16, 2013 6:30 PM:

    Christopher Hill, the former Bush ambassador to Iraq, is Dean of the DU school of International Relations.