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PITTSBURGH, March 19, 2013 – Former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell (D-Maine) has been named the inaugural recipient of the La Roche College Peace Medal, in recognition of his work as U.S. Special Envoy and Independent Chairman of the Northern Ireland Peace Talks and as U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.

Sister Candace Introcaso, CDP, Ph.D., president of La Roche College, will present the Peace Medal to Mr. Mitchell in Pittsburgh on Friday, April 5. Dan Rooney, former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, who for decades has worked on Irish peace efforts with Mr. Mitchell and government officials from Ireland and Northern Ireland, will take part in the ceremony.

In announcing the award, Sister Candace cited Mr. Mitchell’s exemplary dedication to bringing peace and justice to two of the world’s distressed areas.

“Senator Mitchell has spent his life in service to the United States and to advancing the cause of peace in conflict-ridden areas of the world,” she said. “It is appropriate for La Roche College to recognize his exemplary service and dedication, as well as his strong support of higher education. The La Roche College Peace Medal will be a lasting tribute to distinguished leaders who share and exemplify the mission of La Roche: to educate future leaders to promote justice and peace in our ever-changing global society.”

In Northern Ireland, Mr. Mitchell’s efforts led to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. That accord, agreed to by the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and the eight political parties of Northern Ireland, became a framework for Northern Ireland’s self-governance. His book, “Making Peace,” tells the inside story of his three-year effort to establish the peace agreement.

From 2000 to 2001, Mr. Mitchell also served as chairman of an international fact-finding committee on violence in the Middle East. The committee’s recommendation, widely known as The Mitchell Report, was endorsed by the U.S., the European Union and many other governments. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him to a two-year term as United States Special Envoy for Middle East Peace.

Mr. Mitchell, who represented Maine in the U.S. Senate from 1980 to 1995, is the founder of the Mitchell Institute in Portland, Maine, whose mission is to increase the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue and achieve a college education. While in the Senate, his efforts led to the passage of a higher education bill that expanded opportunities for millions of Americans. He also served as chancellor of Queen’s University of Northern Ireland for 10 years.

About La Roche College: A private, Catholic, co-educational college north of Pittsburgh founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche welcomes students of all religions, ethnic origins and talents. Undergraduates may choose from more than 50 majors, including the top 10 majors most in demand among today’s college students. La Roche combines a quality educational experience with clubs, athletics, social and community volunteer activities, spiritual well-being and more to prepare students for life in a constantly changing global society.

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