At a special reception and dinner Tuesday at Mexico City’s historic Palacio de Autonomía, USC President C. L. Max Nikias honored Mexican Foreign Secretary José Antonio Meade Kuribreña with the inaugural Judge Widney Award.
Nikias presented the award in recognition of Meade’s leadership and the important gains Mexico’s foreign ministry has made in establishing educational diplomacy and building research and innovation partnerships between Mexico and the United States.
Sergio Alcocer Martínez de Castro, undersecretary for North America, accepted the award on behalf of Meade, who is on a trade mission to the United Kingdom. Also attending the special ceremony were U.S. Ambassador to Mexico E. Anthony Wayne and Meade’s father, Dionisio Meade. The elder Meade is president of Fundación UNAM, a nonprofit that conducts philanthropic and other activities relating to the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the oldest university in North America.
Judge Robert Maclay Widney, distinguished polymath and chief architect and founder of USC, set the university on course to toward becoming the global institution it is today.
Secretary Meade has worked diligently to build Mexico’s international network of partnerships with a special focus on education and innovation.
C. L. Max Nikias
“We created the Judge Widney Award to bestow upon pioneering heads of state and cabinet-level officials whose efforts contribute to the growth of international outreach and collaboration,” Nikias said. “Secretary Meade has worked diligently to build Mexico’s international network of partnerships with a special focus on education and innovation. His support has helped USC strengthen its ties to Mexican institutions and in turn, to expand opportunities for students both at USC and in Mexico.”
Support of USC
Meade, Alcocer and Carlos Sada, consul general of Mexico in Los Angeles, met with Nikias and USC Trustee Edward P. Roski Jr. in May 2014. During that meeting, Meade reinforced his support for USC’s efforts to broaden its network of collaborations in Mexico and invited Nikias to bring a delegation to Mexico City to further those efforts.
That invitation materialized into this week’s visit, with Nikias leading a delegation of trustees, senior administrators and deans to Mexico City.