Setsuko Nakamura Thurlow ’55 will accept the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the organization announced this week.
On October 6, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that ICAN would be awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. On Thursday, ICAN announced that Thurlow would receive the award on the organization’s behalf, along with executive director Beatrice Fihn, at the December 10 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
“Thurlow has been a leading figure in ICAN since its launch in 2007,” the organization said in a press release on Thursday. “She played a pivotal role in the United Nations negotiations that led to the adoption of the landmark treaty outlawing nuclear weapons in July.”
Thurlow survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima in 1945 at the age of 13. A decade later, she graduated from University of Lynchburg with a degree in sociology. She spent much of her adult life engaged in advocacy against nuclear weapons. “For more than seven decades, she has campaigned against the bomb,” says the ICAN press release. “Her powerful speeches at diplomatic conferences and in classrooms have inspired countless individuals around the world to take action for disarmament.”