Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1998-1999 index

Distributed May 17, 1999
Contact: Janet Kerlin

Commencement 1999

John Glenn, Queen Noor, Europe's President Prodi give Ogden Lectures

Brown University's Stephen A. Ogden Jr. Memorial Lecture series on global issues brings Sen. John Glenn, Queen Noor of Jordan and European Commission President Romano Prodi to Providence on Commencement Weekend, May 29-30. The Ogden Lectures are free and open to the public.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Three prominent world figures - Sen. John Glenn, Queen Noor of Jordan, and European Commission President Romano Prodi - will deliver Stephen A. Ogden Jr. Memorial Lectures during Commencement Weekend at Brown University.

With the words "Zero G and I feel fine," a 77-year-old Glenn radioed NASA colleagues that he was elated to be back in space aboard the shuttle Discovery on Nov. 7, 1998. Three decades earlier, he had become the first American to orbit the Earth, allowing the United States to match Russia and eventually overtake it.

Before his spaceflight experience, Glenn was a Marine pilot who earned numerous commendations for combat missions in World War II and Korea. On his return, he tested military aircraft, setting a transcontinental speed record from Los Angeles to New York.

Ohioans elected him to four terms in the U.S. Senate, where he was known for work on issues of nuclear nonproliferation, military affairs and technology. He retired from the Senate in 1998 and pursued his dream of a second space flight, arguing that scientists could measure the effects of weightlessness on the aging human body.

American-born Queen Noor graduated from Princeton in 1974 with a degree in architecture and urban planning. Since her marriage in 1978 to King Hussein of Jordan, she has played a mediating role in Arab-Western relations. Newsweek magazine wrote that Queen Noor became indispensable to King Hussein during the Gulf War, helping Western journalists understand why Jordan could not take sides against Saddam Hussein.

Recently, Queen Noor assumed an advocacy role in the international fight to ban land mines. In recognition of her efforts to advance development, democracy and peace, Queen Noor has been awarded honorary doctorates in international relations, law, and humane letters, and several international awards.

Prodi, an economist and professor of industrial policy, was appointed president of the European Commission on March 24, 1999, by leaders of 15 European nations.

Prodi, Italy's prime minister until October 1998, describes himself as "dedicated to Europe" and is credited with having guided Italy into adopting the euro, the new currency of the European Union. Last month, Prodi told The Financial Times of London that his goal as president is to draw upon "the consequences of the single currency and create a political Europe" and to develop "a common European soul."

Prodi's appearance at Brown will be his first in the United States as president of the European Commission.

The appearances by Prodi, Queen Noor and Glenn are made possible by an endowment established in memory of Stephen A. Ogden Jr., a Brown student who died in 1963 from injuries he suffered in a car accident. His family created the lecture endowment as a tribute to his interest in international relations. The lectures are free and open to the public. In the event of rain, lectures scheduled for on The College Green will take place in the Salomon Center for Teaching.