"Hotel Rwanda" manager Rusesabagina brings fight against genocide to Benedictine

"Hotel Rwanda" manager Rusesabagina brings fight against genocide to Benedictine
March 12, 2008

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

Rwandan hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina was neither idealist nor likely hero when his country plummeted into genocide 14 years ago. But when ethnic Hutus began killing their Tutsi neighbors, Rusesabagina – a Hutu married to a Tutsi woman – turned his hotel into an impromptu refugee camp for more than a thousand terrified Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The genocide, which claimed more than one million lives, and his story were recounted in the Academy-Award-nominated movie “Hotel Rwanda,” in which Rusesabagina was portrayed by actor Don Cheadle. Since his ordeal in 1994, Rusesabagina has founded the Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation (HRRF) to provide support, care and assistance to survivors of the Rwandan genocide. Rusesabagina, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 by President George W. Bush, will present “Hotel Rwanda: A Lesson Yet To Be Learned,” from 6:30-8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9 at the Dan and Ada Rice Center at Benedictine University. Rusesabagina’s address is the capstone event of the Third Annual Civic Leadership Conference and Youth Government Day, sponsored by the Center for Civic Leadership and Public Service at Benedictine University. The Center, founded by former Illinois Attorney General and Benedictine University Distinguished Fellow Jim Ryan, seeks to shape a new generation of public leaders and responsible citizens. The Center invites hundreds of area high school students every year to participate in civic engagement activities that highlight the importance of civic competence and public leadership. Rusesabagina's appearance is sponsored by the Center and by the Department of Political Science. Funding is being provided by the Center and the McCormick Tribune Foundation. The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP by calling (630) 829-6460 or by going to www.ben.edu/ccl and clicking on “Upcoming Events.”


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.