Richard G. Lugar

"Richard G. Lugar was the gentle giant of American diplomacy.

Equal parts ambition and decency, Dick Lugar was one of the most consequential senators to serve in the U.S. Congress.

Senator Lugar paved a post-Cold War path for U.S. foreign policy, away from nuclear confrontation and toward a safer and more just world. He believed the world was a better place when the United States led by example, based on pragmatism and principle.

The Senator is best known for his efforts to advance arms control and disarmament. The Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, developed with Democratic Senator Sam Nunn, brought the United States and Russia into partnership after decades of Cold War to dismantle thousands of nuclear weapons and missiles, and to prevent the spread of dangerous technology and weapons. It is an example of the power of working across political divisions to produce political change.

The Senator continued to believe in the critical importance of keeping channels open to Russia even, and especially when relations between Moscow and Washington are poor, a point he made last month in our auditorium.

Senator Lugar was a champion of human rights and democracy. During the Reagan years, he led successful efforts to override a presidential veto of legislation imposing economic sanctions on apartheid South Africa. He was a leader in supporting the third wave of democratic transitions in the Philippines, in Central and Eastern Europe, and elsewhere. He was an innovator in global education; programs he initiated continue to benefit HLS faculty and students.

The Senator’s policy ambition and ethos of treating all people with respect and dignity were critical to his legislative successes and ensured he had a seat at the policy table long after he left the Senate.

Last October, we named the school in his and Congressman Lee Hamilton’s honor. The Senator was a supporter of the school since before its founding. He taught, served on the Deans Advisory Council, and pitched prospective students at recruiting events. For the last four years, he co-convened our annual conference on America’s Role in the World®. Last month, he presided over the opening of an exhibit of his papers, which he donated to the university.

The decision to name the school honors the Senator’s contributions to our university, the state, and the world. His legacy will serve as an inspiration for generations of future students."

Ambassador Lee Feinstein
Founding Dean
IU Hamilton Lugar School of Global & International Studies

Remembering Senator Richard G. Lugar