"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 an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.