AUBURN – Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founding chair of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, was honored Dec. 7 in a ceremony at the United Nations in New York as the 2009 International Quality of Life Awards laureate.
This annual event was launched in 1994 by Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences to recognize people and partnerships that have made significant and lasting contributions to individual, family, and community well-being locally and around the world.
Fulfilling a promise to her dying sister, Brinker launched a comprehensive fight against breast cancer in 1982, leading to a global movement that has had a positive impact on the lives of millions of women and their families for almost three decades. Today, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, symbolized by the pink ribbon, is the world’s largest and most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer. Moreover, hundreds of millions of dollars in Komen for the Cure funding have been associated with virtually every major advance in breast cancer research to date.
“The story of the successful global campaign launched by Ambassador Brinker is a phenomenal and empowering story,” said June Henton, dean of the College of Human Sciences. “The ultimate goal of the awards is to open minds and broaden the worldviews of our students who have the opportunity to see firsthand that people from all walks of life can make a huge contribution to humankind by their actions.”
In addition to her role as founding chair of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Brinker served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary from 2001-2003 and U.S. Chief of Protocol from 2007-2009. She was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2008 and was honored this summer by President Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Brinker serves as Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control for the UN World Health Organization and is a member of the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees.