- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Former President George W. Bush was about to get an award from the University of Denver to recognize his humanitarian contributions to American society. But too many objected, and university leaders caved.

The honor Mr. Bush was set to receive is called the Improving the Human Condition Award, and it’s set for presentation at the 16th annual Korbel Dinner in September, National Review Online said. Instead, Mr. Bush will receive what’s called the Global Service Award, for service to the nation.

When Mr. Bush was the announced as the recipient, outcry broke out among students and staff. They circulated a petition to select someone different — someone who “better represents a humanitarian spirit, a commitment to human rights and human dignity, and whose contributions and leadership have truly resulted in positive change,” the petition stated, as NRO reported. An estimated 1,500 signed it.

On top of that, 20 or so faculty members sent a letter to university heads saying they were “shocked, disappointed and embarrassed” at the selection of Mr. Bush. Why? As Professor Alan Gilbert wrote, the former president was “an unrepentant war criminal who violated the convention against torture,” NRO reported.

Mr. Bush still will present the keynote address.

Past recipients of the award include former Secretaries of State Condoleeza Rice and Madeleine K. Albright, NRO reported.