2 April: Remembering Nicholas Murray Butler on Birthday

OV Digital Desk
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Nicholas Murray Butler

Nicholas Murray Butler (2 April 1862 – 7 December 1947) was an American philosopher, diplomat, and educator who made significant contributions to American education and international relations. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.

Life and Career

He was born on 2 April 1862, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1882 from Columbia University. In 1883, he completed his master’s and doctorate also from Columbia College.

After completing his education, Butler returned to Columbia University to join the faculty. He taught philosophy and international law, and in 1890, he became the head of the philosophy department.

In 1901, Nicholas Murray Burton became the interim president of Columbia University and in 1902, Butler was appointed president of Columbia University, a position he held until 1945. During his tenure, the university was expanded to include plenty of new departments and buildings that firmly established it as one of the finest universities in the world.

His contributions to education extended beyond his work at Columbia University. He served on numerous educational committees and commissions, including the National Education Association and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He also helped to establish the American Council on Education, which became a leading voice for American higher education.

He also played a key role in the development of Teachers College at Columbia University, which became a leading institution for the training of educators.

In addition to his work in education, Butler was a prominent figure in international relations. He served as president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 1925 to 1945 and played a key role in the development of the League of Nations and the United Nations.

He was also a strong advocate for education as a means of promoting social progress and international peace. He believed that education should be accessible to all, regardless of social or economic status, and he worked to expand opportunities for higher education in the United States.

He died on 7 December 1947, in New York, U.S.

Award and Legacy

Nicholas Butler shared the  Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 with Jane Addams. He received it for his efforts to strengthen international law and the International Court at the Hague.

The legacy of Nicholas Murray Butler is one of dedication to the principles of internationalism, diplomacy, and education. He believed that education was the key to promoting peace and understanding among nations, and he worked tirelessly to advance the cause of education throughout his career.

His contributions to international relations and diplomacy continue to be remembered and celebrated today, and the Nicholas Murray Butler Award is just one of the many ways in which his legacy is honored.

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