Albright Remembers Havel

Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright (Bruce Gilbert)

Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright ’76GSAS, ’95HON visited campus this fall to honor the late Václav Havel ’90HON, the Czech playwright and political dissident who led his country’s anti-communist revolution and subsequently served as its first democratically elected president. Albright unveiled a bust of Havel — a gift to Columbia from the Václav Havel Library Foundation — and discussed the relevance of his legacy today. She said that Havel, who came to Columbia as an artist-in-residence for two months in 2006, “was a relentless advocate on behalf of civil and political rights for all people.” He celebrated his country “without falling into the trap of chauvinism,” she said. “Instead of ideology or politics, he stressed the obligation we all have to each other.” 

Listen to the full speech