Earlier in the summer, two Denison alumni, Richard Lugar ‘54 and William G. Bowen ‘55, received national awards from President Barack Obama. Bowen received the National Humanities Medal on July 10 at a White House ceremony, whereas Lugar is slated to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom later this year.
Bowen, an economics major here at Denison, would go on to become “one of the great figures in American higher education” according to Christopher L. Eisgruber, President of Princeton University, a post Bowen himself held for eighteen years from 1978 through 1996. According to Princeton’s University Communications, his leadership of that school is considered “legendary.” Bowen went on to serve as President of the Mellon Foundation from 1988 through 2006, and has been a lifetime researcher of higher education and economics. He has authored or co-authored over 20 books, according to Princeton, and was critical in founding JSTOR and ARTstor, electronic databases for scholarly articles and fine art, respectively. Bowen serves on Denison’s Board of Trustees as a life trustee.
Richard Lugar, another economics major here on the Hill, served in the U.S. Senate from 1977 to 2013. At the time of his departure from Capitol Hill earlier this year, he was the most senior Republican in the Senate. Prior to running for Senator, Lugar served as mayor of Indianapolis, Ind., his hometown, from 1968 to 1976. He served as Chair of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee twice and twice again as Chair of the Senate’s Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. On Aug. 8, President Obama named him among this year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, alongside several others including Oprah Winfrey and Bill Clinton, according to the White House website. Lugar currently serves as president of the Lugar Center, a think-tank, and is an active member of Denison’s Board of Trustees. Earlier this year he was also made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.