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James A. Baker III Receives SMU’s Tower Center Medal of Freedom



DALLAS, October 18, 2012 -- Former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III received the Medal of Freedom from SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies during ceremonies on October 17, 2012.

The Tower Center Medal of Freedom is presented every two years to an individual, or individuals, who have furthered the cause of freedom throughout the world.

Mr. Baker served in senior government positions under three United States Presidents -- Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. He is presently a senior partner at Baker Botts L.L.P., is Honorary Chairman of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and serves on the board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

“James Baker is one of our country’s most accomplished statesmen and has provided strong, diplomatic leadership and a collaborative approach to politics throughout his career,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner in making the award announcement. “He led policies and progress that secured our nation’s presence on the world stage. We are proud to present him with the Tower Center Medal of Freedom.”

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell received the first Tower Center Medal of Freedom in 1997. Other recipients include former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former President George H. W. Bush, General Tommy R. Franks (U.S.A., Ret.), U.S. Senator John McCain and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The release announcing Mr. Baker’s receiving this honor is available here.

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