Brown University News Bureau

The Brown University News Bureau

1998-1999 index

Distributed May 19, 1999
Contact: Janet Kerlin

Commencement 1999

Queen Noor to deliver Ogden lecture at Watson Institute groundbreaking

Queen Noor of Jordan will deliver a Stephen A. Ogden Jr. Memorial Lecture Sunday, May 30, as part of groundbreaking ceremony for the new home of the Watson Institute for International Studies. The Queen will speak at 11:30 a.m. on The College Green.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Queen Noor of Jordan will deliver a Stephen A. Ogden Jr. Memorial Lecture at Brown University on Sunday, May 30, as part of groundbreaking ceremony for the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies.

Queen Noor will speak on "A Culture of Peace in the New Millennium" at 11:30 a.m. on The College Green. (In the event of heavy rain, the Queen will speak in the Salomon Center for Teaching.)

The groundbreaking will mark the start of a new $18.7-million home for the Watson Institute, an organization that coordinates and supports the University's research and instruction in international studies. Watson faculty and students conduct research in areas ranging from global security to global environment, with a focus from Africa to Vietnam. The Watson Institute is also home to Brown's International Relations Program, one of the University's largest undergraduate academic majors.

Contruction for the new facility is expected to begin in late fall of 1999 and to be completed in spring of 2001. It will consolidate the Institute into a central location for students, faculty, and visiting scholars, whose activities currently are scattered across five locations on campus.

The new building was designed by the internationally renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, whose structures include the award-winning Tokyo International Forum and the Princeton University Stadium.

The traditional groundbreaking will take place at the site on Thayer Street between Benevolent and Charlesfield streets, but with a twist: The ceremony will be videocast to The College Green, where guests of the University and the Watson Institute will assemble to hear Queen Noor's address.

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 the late 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 landmines. 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, as well as several international awards.

Other University guests will speak on world affairs during Commencement Weekend:

The appearances by Queen Noor, Prodi, and Glenn are Ogden Lectures, 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 established the lectures as a tribute to his interest in international relations. The lectures are free and open to the public.