A longtime U.S. Senator who is a longtime friend of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs is set to give the keynote address at SPEA’s Capitol Hill Colloquium.
Sen. Richard Lugar (R.-Indiana) will deliver remarks focusing on the future even as his days as a powerful lawmaker count down. Lugar was first elected in 1976 and is the longest serving member of Congress in Indiana history and the Senate’s most senior Republican. He was defeated in the Republican primary and will leave office at the end of his current term.
The Colloquium in Washington on October 16th will bring together about 200 people including political leaders and prospective students along with SPEA administrators, alumni and staff. Among the participants will be students in SPEA’s highly regarded Washington Leadership Program. The event in the Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building comes as SPEA celebrates the 40th anniversary of its founding in 1972. SPEA’s founding dean, Charles Bonser, will introduce Lugar and host the event. The two have shared a podium before. Lugar delivered the inaugural Charles F. Bonser Lecture in Public Policy at Indiana University in February of 1999. Dean Emeritus Bonser and his wife Nancy endowed that lecture series.
The Colloquium has become one of the traditional highlights of the year for SPEA’s large DC-based alumni group. This is Lugar’s second appearance as keynote speaker. Previous speakers include the Honorable Lee Hamilton, former EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman and Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Climate Change.
"The Capitol Hill Colloquium is a special opportunity for SPEA to reconnect with alumni and friends in the Washington area," said Jenna Civitello, SPEA Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Development. “We’re especially looking forward to hearing from Sen. Lugar as he brings a remarkable career to a close and looks forward both to his future after the Senate and the future of the nation.”
Lugar is perhaps best known as a leader in reducing the threat of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. “In 1991, he forged a bipartisan partnership with then-Senate Armed Services Chairman, Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), to destroy these weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union. To date, the Nunn-Lugar program has deactivated more than 7,500 nuclear warheads that were once aimed at the United States,” according to his Senate biography. Lugar marked the 20-year anniversary of that program in a talk at SPEA in November, 2011.