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Nobel Peace Laureate Arias Addresses Academic Leaders at Summit


Arias Sanchez delivering address

From June 13 through June 16, 2010, more than 200 academic and executive leaders from around the world gathered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the 2010 Laureate Leadership Summit. These annual meetings provide unparalleled opportunities for our leaders to come together, meet colleagues from other network institutions and identify new ways to learn from colleagues to enhance their own institutions. In addition to several days of exciting and thought-provoking presentations, brainstorming sessions, panels, and networking opportunities, the attendees had the great opportunity to benefit from the words of guest speaker President of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias.

Dr. Arias was born in Heredia, Costa Rica in 1940. He studied law and economics at the University of Costa Rica, and received a doctoral degree in political science from the University of Essex. After serving as professor of political science at the University of Costa Rica, Dr. Arias was appointed Costa Rican Minister of Planning and Economic Policy. He won a seat in Congress in 1978 and was elected president of Costa Rica in 1986. He was awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1987 for drafting a plan to end decades-long conflict throughout Latin America. From 2006 through 2010 he served a second term as president of Costa Rica, becoming the first Nobel Laureate in history to be elected to a nation’s top office after winning that prize.

In his prepared remarks, Dr. Arias focused on the role that education plays in the world, how globalization is creating new challenges and opportunities for the future of education and the vital role that trust will play in the continued evolution of education. “There seems to be a widespread consensus that, in today’s world, a relevant education is one that teaches our young people to think beyond their immediate circumstances, to understand the problems of people who live in situations very different from their own," said Arias.  “It is essential for our students to see that there are different universes than the one they have always known – places in which human beings, all equally worthy, struggle and dream just as we do.”

After concluding his remarks with a call to continue delivering on the power of education to impact our world, Dr. Arias not only received a standing ovation, but the gratitude of all attendees for his guidance and thought provoking words.


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