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.

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