11/14/05 Contact: Deedie Dowdle, 334/844-9999 (ddowdle@auburn.edu)
Harriet Giles, 334/844-3241 (hgiles@auburn.edu)

Kissinger, Pataki to Present for AU College of Human Sciences at UN Dec. 5

AUBURN -- A globally renowned philanthropic executive and a public corporation that helped raise the World Trade Center area from the ashes of the Sept. 11 bombings will be honored at the 12th annual International Quality of Life Awards at the United Nations in New York Dec. 5.Alabama Gov. Bob Riley will also speak.

Presenting the awards, given annually by Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences, are New York Gov. George Pataki and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

The 2004 honoree – deferred from the previous year – is Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, India’s largest corporation and one that exemplifies corporate philanthropy. The Tata Group returns two-thirds of its profits to the people of India in the form of improvements and contributions that benefit education, health, arts, culture and environmental conservation. Kissinger will present Tata’s award.

Recognized this year as Forbes’ Asian Businessman of the Year, Tata’s nearly $18 billion conglomerate – equivalent to 2.8 percent of India’s gross domestic product – is recognized globally for its high ethical standards and its focus on social responsibility. Newsweek International describes the Tata Group as “a new kind of multinational corporation” and as “a family conglomerate that has gone professional without losing a distinct set of old-school values.”

Tata serves on boards or organizations around the world, among them Mitsubishi Corp., the American International Group, JP Morgan Chase, the Rand Center for Asia Pacific Policy, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s India Aids Initiative and the Ford Foundation.

The 2005 International Quality of Life Laureate is the Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority of New York and will receive its award from Gov. Pataki. The Authority has overseen Battery Park City’s successful resurgence from the devastation of the September 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

The public benefit corporation owns the 92-acre planned urban community built on ground that was originally excavated to construct the World Trade Center. In less than 30 years, the area has emerged from deterioration and poverty to become a vibrant neighborhood and a model for the 21st century urban community.

In 1991, Gov. Pataki and BPCA president and Chief Executive Officer Timothy Carey created “green” guidelines to positively impact quality of life in Battery Park City. The result is a sustainable community that carefully balances commercial, residential, retail and open space to promote an active and environmentally friendly lifestyle for its residents. Most amazing is the extraordinary growth and development since Sept. 11, 2001. Thriving commercially and home to more residents than ever before in its history, BPCA continues to realize its “green vision” with some of the country’s most environmentally responsible residential buildings and public park spaces.

“It is a great privilege to honor Mr. Ratan Tata and the Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority,” said June Henton, Dean of the College of Human Sciences. “As is true for each IQLA Laureate, their work reflects the spirit of the award by promoting the respect and dignity of all citizens around the world.”

AU’s College of Human Sciences launched the International Quality of Life Awards as an annual occasion to honor people and partnerships who make significant contributions – in the spirit of the College’s own mission – to individual, family and community well-being and quality of life locally and internationally.

Past honorees include Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of Capetown, South Africa; Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State; Don Logan, Chairman, Media and Communications Group, Time Warner; Lawrence Klein, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate in Economics; and Catherine Bertini, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme.

Nearly 400 people are expected to attend this year’s ceremony, which benefits the Fund for Global Understanding. The fund underwrites the awards and supports international academic programming at Auburn University.The event will begin at 6:30 in the UN Delegates' Dining Room.

Auburn University is a preeminent land-grant and comprehensive research institution with more than 23,000 students and 6,500 faculty and staff. Ranked among the top 50 public universities nationally, Auburn is Alabama’s largest educational institution, offering more than 230 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs.