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George W. Bush to receive humanitarian award despite protests

July 11, 2013 at 10:00 AM   |   Comments

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DENVER, July 11 (UPI) -- Former U.S. President George W. Bush is to receive a humanitarian award from the University of Denver despite student and faculty protest, the university said.

The Josef Korbel School of International Studies' plans to honor Bush during a Sept. 9 fundraising dinner. The announcement triggered a petition drive last month led by a recent graduate, who urged the institution to "choose an alternative recipient," The Washington Times reported Thursday.

The university was to honor Bush with its "Improving the Human Condition Award," an invitation posted on the university's website said, but the name of the award was deleted after the backlash became known.

"Former President George W. Bush left behind a legacy of human rights abuses, including the torture of detainees in extra-territorial jails, preemptive war, domestic surveillance programs, and other egregious actions that deleteriously impact the human condition," read the petition posted by Christine Hart, who received a master's degree from the school last year.

University spokeswoman Kim DeVigil said Wednesday Bush would receive the Global Service Award "for his service to our nation, his leadership as 43rd president of the United States, as well as his remarkable work in Africa, both during his presidency and in his post-presidency."

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