19 November 2015

A Tree Grows in Bridgeport: A Celebration of UN70

Dr. Rima Salah [Second Row Center], Member of the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Peace Operations with students, faculty and Administration from the University of Bridgeport  [Photo by Triton Marks].

On 30 October 2015 the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, CT USA celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations. The ceremony paid special tribute not only to the UN, but also to an event that took place at University some sixty years prior. October 24, 1955, the University’s Student Council planted a sapling to mark the tenth anniversary of the United Nations and to commemorate its achievements. The University took advantage of the UN’s seventieth anniversary to rededicate the tree and to install a new plaque to replace the one that had weathered many a Connecticut winter.

University of Bridgeport administration, faculty and students have been actively involved in a variety of UN-related organizations over the years including the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), the Committee on Teaching about the United Nations (CTAUN) as well as United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI).  The University of Bridgeport conferred Honorary Doctorates on UN Undersecretary General Ralph Bunche and on Eleanor Roosevelt who chaired the committee that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as a number of other UN officials over the years.

The University had the good fortune to welcome Dr. Rima Salah, former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF and member of the Secretary General’s High Panel on Peace Operations as its principal speaker. On this occasion Dr. Salah reflected on the United Nations’ many efforts to further peace and she talked about her current efforts with the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Peace Operations.

On this occasion the University also hosted Alexandra Faiz, National Communications Director of the United Nations Association –USA. The University’s Provost Stephen Healey and the Chief Financial Officer Dr. Susan Williams participated in the program along with Dr. Ward, Dean of the University of Bridgeport’s College of Public and International Affairs.

The University also received a thoughtful message of congratulations from United Nations Academic Impact Chief Ramu Damodaran to commemorate the occasion.

The inscription upon the new plaque that was dedicated beside the tree reads as follows:

On this site on October 24, 1955 the student government of the University of Bridgeport planted a tree and established a monument to honor the tenth anniversary of the United Nations. This plaque, dedicated 60 years later, replaces the original and it reaffirms the University of Bridgeport's longstanding commitment to the United Nations and to the peace, global development and human security that it has striven to foster.

Dedicated by UB Administration, Faculty and Students

The University of Bridgeport is grateful for all that the United Nations has done to address conflict and further peace and greatly appreciates and looks forward to its ongoing relationship with the UN and with UNAI.