Former Soviet Union President Gorbachev to Speak at Colorado State

Note to Editors: A special media question-and-answer period for reporters will be held from 6:25-6:40 p.m. in the McGraw Athletic Center Auditorium. Reservations are required for admittance. For press credentials for the main event and reservations for the press conference, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009 or by 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 13. Media may attend the lecture in Moby Arena. Flash photography will not be allowed. Photography, television cameras and audio recording will be allowed for the first 15 minutes of the presentation only.

Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union, will speak at Colorado State University at 7 p.m. April 14 in Moby Arena on campus. Gorbachev’s lecture is sponsored by the Monfort Family Foundation as part of the Monfort Lecture Series at Colorado State.

Gorbachev, who was president of the Soviet Union from 1985 through 1991, inherited a system that was oppressive. His efforts toward ending Communist rule in Eastern Europe, improving relationships with the West and signing significant disarmament pacts earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1990.

The event is free, but advance tickets are required and are available beginning March 16. Tickets can be reserved online at, by calling (970) 491-4TIX (970-491-4849) or by visiting Campus Box Office locations. The Campus Box Office is open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. weekdays at the University Center for the Arts, 1400 Remington St., and on the main level of the Lory Student Center on campus from noon-6 p.m. weekdays and noon-2 p.m. on Saturdays. Ticket orders may take up to three business days to process, and individual customers will be limited to requests of 12 tickets per order.

A brief question and answer period will follow Gorbachev’s address, when he will answer questions previously submitted by Colorado State students and compiled by the university.

Under his leadership, Gorbachev dissolved 50 years of international tension regarding the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons and helped to bring the Cold War with the United States to an end. During his tenure, two Russian words became integrated in politics and international news and revolutionized the way Russians viewed their leadership: glasnost, which means political openness, and perestroika, which means government restructuring.

Among other notable moments of Gorbachev’s rule was the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, a concrete wall around West Berlin built in 1961 when the borders of the city were closed following the division of Berlin after World War II. The wall was opened to free passage in 1989 and torn down completely by 1990.

Gorbachev, who was raised on a farm, has a degree in law from Moscow State University. He joined the Communist Party in the former Soviet Union in 1952. After retiring from politics, Gorbachev founded Green Cross International, an environmental organization that cleans up military toxins, helps create global ecological law and fosters environmental values. He also founded the Gorbachev Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan educational foundation that addresses the challenges of and articulates new priorities for the post-Cold War world.

On May 22, 2002, Colorado State received a $5 million gift from the Monfort Family Foundation. In addition to other allocations, the gift provides up to $200,000 annually for guest speakers for a period of five years. The Monfort Lecture Series features speakers of international distinction.

In conjunction with Gorbachev’s visit, the university’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance will present the play, "Every Good Boy Deserves Favor," by Tom Stoppard at 8 p.m. April 13, 15 and 16 at the Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall at the University Center for the Arts. Tickets are $6, $10 and $14 and available at (970) 491-4849.

The play, which features the university’s Symphony Orchestra, depicts a political prisoner in the former Soviet Union who is locked in a cell for the insane with a lunatic who believes he is in charge of an orchestra. "Every Good Boy Deserves Favor" is hailed as a supremely witty play on a serious subject: the violation of human rights and freedom.

Wes Kenney conducts the orchestra and Eric Prince directs the rarely performed contemporary masterpiece.