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Words of international peacemaker Andrew Cordier shape March 29 talk at Manchester University

Andrew Cordier, a 1922 Manchester graduate and history professor, was an advocate for peace and played a major role in drafting of the charter for the United Nations.

Kelley BrennemanKelley Brenneman, herself a 2014 alumna of Manchester University, completed her undergraduate thesis on Cordier. She will present “The Shaping of a Peacemaker” at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, in Cordier Auditorium on the North Manchester campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Brenneman is a Fort Wayne native and graduated with a degree in history. For the past year and a half, she has been an intern at the Church of the Brethren Historical Library and Archives in Elgin, Ill. A condensed version of her thesis about Cordier is featured in its “Hidden Gems” series.

While at Manchester, Cordier began a friendship with fellow history professor Vernon F. Schwalm that would last more 50 years. 

“A war-worn world needs our philosophy and examples of peace, a luxury-mad world, with yawning chasms between rich and poor, needs our examples of the simple life,” Cordier wrote in 1929 about the role of the Brethren to Schwalm. Schwalm later became president of Manchester and there established the world’s first undergraduate peace studies program.

In 1944, Cordier left Manchester behind in order to work for the U.S. State Department, and he was at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference to help write up the proposal for the United Nations. He later officially joined the U.N. as executive assistant to the president of the General Assembly. Cordier in the 1970s served as the 15th president of Columbia University.

Materials from the Manchester University archives, including letters Cordier wrote to Schwalm, provide the foundation for Brenneman’s thesis. She is attending library school at IUPUI and recently accepted an internship in the archives at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum in Auburn, Ind. 

The March 29 presentation is part of the Values, Ideas and the Arts series at the University.

Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, is one of six colleges across the nation grounded in the values and traditions of the Church of the Brethren. The University offers more than 60 areas of academic study to 1,500 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics, Master of Athletic Training and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy.  Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at


Prepared with assistance by student Tiana Maclin, a strategic communications assistant.

March 10, 2016