CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
(Editor's note: Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam will be available to meet with
members of the media after the lecture and reception from 6:15 p.m. to
6:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21 at the Triangle Club Room adjacent to the
R. Wayne Richey Ballroom (second floor) of the Iowa Memorial Union.)
Mo Mowlam, N. Ireland secretary of state and UI alumna, receives
award at UI lecture Oct. 21
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam, Britain's secretary of state
for Northern Ireland, and University of Iowa alumna, will receive an Alumni
Achievement Award prior to presenting a lecture entitled "People Matter,"
at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21 at the R. Wayne Richey Ballroom in the
Iowa Memorial Union.
Mowlam, who received a doctorate in political science from the UI in
1977, will discuss the Irish peace agreement that was negotiated in April.
The lecture is free and open to the public.
Mowlam will be among more than 200 persons who have received the award
that is presented to UI graduates or former students for significant contributions
in business or professional life or for distinguished service to their
community, state, or nation.
"She's distinguished herself as an alumnus in the Northern Ireland
peace movement. A lot of people feel strongly about her being instrumental
about working for peace. The committee was unanimous in their selection,"
says Vince Nelson, executive director of the UI Alumni Association.
Mowlam has served three terms in Parliament, beginning in 1987, and
was appointed secretary of state for Northern Ireland and to the Cabinet
in 1997. Previously, while the Labour Party was in the opposition, she
had been elected to the Shadow Cabinet and was Shadow Northern Ireland
Secretary from 1994 to 1997. She has been an advocate of worker's rights
and a leading proponent for peace in the war-ravaged Northern Ireland.
Gerhard Loewenberg, UI political science professor who chaired Molawm's
Ph.D. committee and who nominated her for the award, says she was an enterprising
and diligent student. In her dissertation she explored the role of the
referendum in the Swiss political system.
"She had the rare capacity to be both actively engaged in politics
and in the academic study of politics," Loewenberg says.
Mowlam's adeptness helped her play an important role in negotiating
peace in Ireland, Loewenberg says.
An August terrorist attack in Omagh, Ireland, by the Real IRA, left
28 people dead. Mowlam said the bombing attack had plunged Northern Ireland
into "new depths of despair," but the peace process between the
warring British Protestants and Irish Catholics was "on track."
Mowlam was a member of a multi-party committee that drafted the landmark
"Good Friday Agreement," reached in April, 13 years after the
Northern Ireland civil rights movement had begun. The Agreement among unionist,
nationalist, republican, and loyalist party members outlined a new and
independent Human Rights Commission charged with protecting basic human
rights, and it created the Equality commission that will work to bring
peace among the fighting factions.
Mowlam is in the United States on a 10-city tour to promote U.S. trade
with Northern Ireland, and her lecture coincides with the UI's year-long
Global Focus: HR '98 events in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the
Declaration of Human Rights. For information about upcoming events, visit
the program's Web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~hr98