Brazilian government bestows top civilian honor on Oglethorpe alumnus

Alumnus bestowed civic award

On April 19th, 2017, Cemal Özgörkey ’84 was entered into the Order of Rio Branco by the Government of Brazil as a civil servant and honorary consul. Özgörkey is the chairman of Özgörkey Holding and a member of Oglethorpe’s Board of Trustees.

Along with his induction, Özgörkey will be presented with a medal in Istanbul this month. Members of both the Brazilian and Turkish governments will be in attendance to present the medal.

Rio Branco Medal

The order of Rio Branco was established with the objective of distinguishing meritorious service and civic virtues. Named in tribute to the patron of the Brazilian diplomacy, the Baron of Rio Branco, José Maria da Silva Paranhos Junior. José Paranhos is a national hero in Brazil with his legacy coming from the peaceful settlement of border disputes with neighboring countries, which resulted, to a large extent, in the current outline of the Brazilian territory.

Özgörkey’s brother, Armagan Özgörkey ’84, is also an Oglethorpe alumnus. The Lupton Hall bell tower is named in honor of their mother, Lale Özgörkey, in recognition of a generous gift from the Özgörkey family towards the Turner Lynch Campus Center.

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