Indonesian ambassador honors Dwight King

NIU Professor Emeritus Dwight King, left, chats with Indonesian Ambassador Dino Patti Djalal, who presented King with a special award from the Indonesian government.
NIU Professor Emeritus Dwight King, left, chats with Indonesian Ambassador Dino Patti Djalal, who presented King with a special award from the Indonesian government.

Dwight King, NIU political science professor emeritus and former director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, was honored last month by Indonesian Ambassador to the United States Dr. Dino Patti Djalal.

Djalal traveled to DeKalb from Washington, D.C., to present King with an “Award of Distinction for Lifetime Contribution to the Understanding of Indonesia.”

The award ceremony and luncheon, which was hosted by NIU’s Division of International Programs, took place in the Capitol Room of the Holmes Student Center and was attended by about former center director Clark Neher and about 30 faculty members, students and administrators.

The Indonesian delegation attending included the ambassador, Education and Cultural Affairs Attache Dr. Haryo Winarso, and Indonesian Consul General of Chicago Benny Bahanadewa.

Before presenting King with his award, the ambassador expressed appreciation for King’s dedication and contributions to the study of Indonesian political science and history and to his dedication to his students, some of whom are now in high-ranking Indonesian leadership positions.

“As an Indonesianist, Professor King not only was a teacher, but also a mentor who nurtured, protected and assisted the interests of hundreds of Indonesian students for four decades,” Djalal said. “His love of Indonesia and the tireless efforts in educating and guiding students has changed the lives of many students who have become leaders, aspiring leaders and influential figures in Indonesia.”

Earlier, Christopher McCord, dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, welcomed the ambassador to NIU and spoke about King’s lifetime contributions.

Through his dedication to the life of the mind and to a cause larger than himself, McCord said, King created a lasting legacy in his ideas and in the students whose lives he helped to mold. “We – his friends, his students and those who have shared his ideas and benefited from his commitment to a cause – can all give testimony to that,” he said.

Eleven of King’s former students videotaped testimonials about their former teacher that were shown during the ceremony. King, who has been retired since 2009, spoke briefly after receiving his award and was visibly touched by the display of his students’ testimonials.

by Liz Denius

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