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Mikhail Gorbachev, who led the Soviet Union during the historic final years of the Cold War, spoke on "Global Unrest and International Leadership in the 21st Century" at the University of Wyoming on Friday, Oct. 14, in the Arena-Auditorium. More than 6,000 people attended the Homecoming weekend event.
Gorbachev, who led the Soviet Union, including during its dissolution in 1991, is widely known for his reform measures as well as summit conferences with United States President Ronald Reagan. Gorbachev is credited for his reorientation of Soviet strategic positions which coincided with the end of the Cold War.
Gorbachev dedicated himself to building a relationship of mutual trust between the Soviet Union and the United States, signing two broad disarmament pacts that dramatically reduced the danger of worldwide nuclear destruction. For his efforts, he was awarded the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize.
Now retired from politics, Gorbachev continues to strive toward achieving his global vision of peace. Gorbachev's efforts include starting the Gorbachev Foundation in 1992, headquartered in San Francisco, and founding Green Cross International in 1993.
"Mikhail Gorbachev is unquestionably one of the most influential world leaders of the 20th century. He will rank among the most significant personalities who have ever spoken on the University of Wyoming campus," said UW President Tom Buchanan. "This was an incredible opportunity for our students, faculty, alumni and the Wyoming community to listen and interact with a world-changing political figure."
UW students had an opportunity to dine with Gorbachev, following his talk. Gorbachev wanted to answer students' questions. Students questions were selected by a committee and posed by retired U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson. The students whose questions were selected were Kevin Brown, Shaun Harris, Ainagul Khamitkaliyevna Holland, Anton Sergeyevich Kim, Kendall Laws, Hannah Olson, Brian Schueler and Justin Klein.
Photos used in this story courtesy of the International Photo Contest held at the University of Wyoming, all photos were submitted by Abby J. Collins. Images of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Regan courtesy of the U.S. Department of State.