1981 UCLA medal recipient
He fought for peace–and won.
The students at an undergraduate Honors Collegium at UCLA in 2003 were a little in awe of their teacher at first. Former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, after all, embodies the optimist idea. He had helped negotiate an end to the Iranian hostage crisis that tormented America for over a year, an achievement for which he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also brought Israel and the Palestinians to the bargaining table in 1994. The graceful and self-effacing diplomat is famous for enabling people to achieve the difficult, or seemingly impossible. It is a talent he put to good use in the service of the nation as Jimmy Carter’s top diplomat and Lyndon Johnson’s deputy U.S. attorney general. In 1981, Christopher was awarded the UCLA Medal for his “enormous contribution to peace and reason.”