George C. Bruno '64

Ambassador George C. Bruno '64 to Receive President’s Award for Liberal Arts in Practice

May 6, 2011

Hartwick College President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich has announced that former U.S. Ambassador to Belize George C. Bruno will receive the President's Award for Liberal Arts in Practice at the College's Commencement on Saturday, May 28. Established in 2009, the award is presented to a Hartwick graduate who extends the values of a Hartwick education into his life and work for the benefit of others.   

"George's work in diplomacy, democracy-building, and human rights embodies the ideals of global engagement and service to humanity inherent in a Hartwick education," Drugovich said. "Throughout his life, he has done much to improve the world and we are privileged to honor him."

Bruno, who graduated from Hartwick in 1964, served as President Bill Clinton's Ambassador to Belize from 1994 to 1998. He is now a lawyer in Manchester, NH, concentrating on immigration law and international transactions. He manages Partners in Peace, a Pentagon and University of New Hampshire program that assists in civil-military emergency preparedness for countries in transition to democracy. He also is a principal in USA Group International, a firm that provides consulting and communications services to individuals, governments, foreign embassies, and private business. Until recently, Bruno was an adjunct professor of international relations at New England College's Graduate School of Public Policy. 

After receiving a B.A. from Hartwick College, Bruno earned his law degree from George Washington University in 1967. As a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, he served as a volunteer aide to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and worked on civil rights and anti-poverty cases. At age 29, Bruno won a landmark case before the U.S. Supreme Court that protected Social Security. In 1977, he was appointed assistant director of the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys in the Department of Justice, prosecuting drug and firearm cases.

As U.S. Ambassador to Belize, Bruno worked to increase trade, strengthen Belize's democratic traditions, stem the flow of illegal drugs and aliens, and promote friendly relations. Following his tour, he served as senior advisor in the Army's international office at the Pentagon, where in addition to his work with the Panama Canal, he worked with NATO Allies and partners in Eastern Europe to establish cooperation and emergency planning systems that strengthened democracy and stability in the region.

In 2000, Bruno served as a visiting diplomat at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation at Fort Benning, GA, and as an advisor to the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University to promote democracy and human rights. He is preparing for a Department of Defense project in 2011 to promote dialogue between the U.S. and Pakistan for cooperation in emergency preparedness.

As a diplomat and lecturer, Bruno has traveled in more than 50 countries; has served on election observation missions in Pakistan, Romania, and Kosovo; and participated in world forums on trade, human rights, democracy, military affairs, and administration of justice. In the late 1990s, he made frequent oversight visits to Panama to facilitate fulfillment of the 1997 Canal Treaty. He has promoted legal aid in India and democracy in Qatar. In 1999-2000, he represented the U.S. in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania to promote civil protection and cooperation among Balkan nations. In 2003, he traveled to Indonesia and Korea for the State Department for exchanges on democracy, foreign policy, and 9/11 before government, student, and business audiences. In 2007, he consulted with the War Crimes Tribunal in Bosnia.

Among Bruno's many honors are a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Hartwick College in 1996, a Doctor of Laws degree from New England College in 2009, and the Award for Courage from the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in 1998.

Hartwick College's President's Award for Liberal Arts in Practice recognizes a member of the College community who demonstrates his or her commitment to bringing theory and practice together to generate new knowledge and understanding; continually develops his or her capacity for critical thinking, ethical action, and reflection; seeks to build a deeper understanding of similarities and differences across time and space; values and applies diverse approaches to building knowledge; expresses the significance and importance of individual and collective actions; encourages others to take inspiration from the products of human ingenuity; maintains a passion for learning; nurtures creativity; has made meaningful contributions to present and future communities; and honors others--while encouraging others to do the same.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030