On Sunday, Setsuko Nakamura Thurlow will receive the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. About five months later, she will be University of Lynchburg’s Commencement speaker.
Thurlow, a 1955 graduate of University of Lynchburg, will deliver a Commencement address to the Class of 2018 on May 12.
Thurlow survived the nuclear bombing in Hiroshima in 1945 and earned her sociology degree at Lynchburg ten years later. She has spent much of her adult life advocating for nuclear disarmament. According to ICAN, “She was instrumental in the creation of the landmark Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted (by the United Nations) in July 2017 with the support of 122 nations. For decades, she has warned governments that inaction is not an option: nuclear weapons must be totally eliminated if we are to ensure that no other city ever suffers the same fate as hers.”
The Norweigian Nobel Committee selected ICAN for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons.”
“Mrs. Thurlow provides the perfect example of what one person can accomplish by sharing her experiences, applying her education, and working with others,” University of Lynchburg President Dr. Kenneth R. Garren said. “We’re delighted that she accepted our invitation, and I believe the Class of 2018 will be inspired by her message.”