A portrait of John. E. Dolibois hangs at MUDEC in Differdange
Photo: David Laurent
Society: Former US ambassador to Luxembourg John E. Dolibois--after whom Miami University’s Luxembourg centre is named--has died at the age of 95.
Tributes have been flooding in for John E. Dolibois, the Luxembourg born diplomat and education professional who died in Cincinnati last Friday at the age of 95.
Dolibois was born in Bonnevoie in 1918, but he and his father emigrated to the United States in 1931 to be closer to his sister, who had married an American (his mother had died when John was just a baby). Dolibois was schooled in Akron, Ohio (though he was initially place in kindergarten because he didn’t have any English) and, after winning a scholarship, went on to graduate fromMiami Universityin Oxford in the same state.
He joined up to serve in WWII and thanks to his language abilities was selected for the Army Intelligence Unit. He was among those who interrogated Nazi war criminals held in Mondorf-les-Bains before the Nuremberg trials of Herman Goering and Rudolph Hess among others.
After the war and a brief period at Proctor & Gamble, Dolibois returned to his alma mater to become vice president for university relations. He was instrumental, along with university provost Dr. Ray Wilson, in giving Miami University a more international outlook.
The university founded its European centre in 1968 giving students a chance to take courses with a European angle and also allowing them to mix with locals (students all live in private homes with families in Luxembourg) and to travel throughout the continent. The centre is now named the Miami University John E. Dolibois Center (MUDEC) in his honour.
Later, Ronald Reagan appointed Dolibois ambassador to Luxembourg, a position he held from 1981 to 1985. Speaking on the occasion of MUDEC’s 45th anniversary, Dolibois himself said that the founding of the centre was one of his greatest achievements.
“It is difficult to adequately describe John and his accomplishments,” Miami University president David Hodge said. “We have lost a great American and a great friend of Luxembourg,” said MUDEC Dean Thierry Leterre.
Dolibois is survived by his sons, John Michael Dolibois and Robert Joseph Dolibois, and eight grand children.