UN Secretary-General Receives Inaugural J. Michael Adams Award

The International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) presented on June 12 the inaugural J. Michael Adams Award for Global Leadership and Service to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The award honors the legacy and accomplishments of former Fairleigh Dickinson University president J. Michael Adams, who also served as president of the IAUP and was widely known for his advocacy for global education and his work to bridge higher education to international efforts for peace, economic progress, sustainable development and social advancement.

The award will be given every three years to a world leader who exemplifies Adams’ commitment to global education. 

Among other accomplishments of the U.N. Secretary General, the IAUP cited Ban Ki-moon’s leadership in forming the United Nations Academic Impact, an alliance between the United Nations and higher education institutions, in which participating colleges support various projects to advance human rights, literacy, sustainability, conflict resolution and other universally accepted principles.

Ban Ki-moon said he was “deeply honored” to receive this inaugural award. “Dr. J. Michael Adams was a global force for progress, a tremendous advocate for the United Nations and he was my personal friend. I’m truly moved by this opportunity to be part of his international legacy.”

The Award Citation:

WHEREAS, the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP) has unanimously approved the institution of the J. Michael Adams Leadership and Service Award, to be bestowed every three years upon an individual whose work is emblematic of President Adams’ commitment to peace, to sustainable development, economic progress and social advancement, and to higher education as a bridge to these, and

WHEREAS, H. E. Ban Ki-Moon has played a key role in pursuing peace throughout the world through his dedicated efforts and negotiations with leaders globally, and

WHEREAS, he has supported responsible, sustainable development for all countries of the world in a devoted manner, and

WHEREAS, he has spent countless hours promoting the individual rights and aspirations of citizens of all Member States of the United Nations, and particularly those in disadvatanged regions and circumstances, and

WHEREAS, H.E. Ban Ki-Moon has recognized the role of university presidents and chancellors by launching the United Nations Academic Impact Initiative around the world,


The Board of Directors of the IAUP unanimously agreed to confer the inaugural J. Michael Adams award to H.E. Ban Ki Moon during the 2014 Yokohama, Japan, Triennial Conference of the IAUP.

Yokohama, Japan, June 12, 2014

Also see the video of Ban Ki-moon’s acceptance remarks.

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