Who We Are
Peace, in thought and in practice
The Albert Schweitzer Institute is committed to introducing Schweitzer's philosophy of "reverence for life" to a broad audience in order to bring about a more civil and ethical human society characterized by respect, responsibility, compassion and service. The Institute endeavors to keep Schweitzer’s work and philosophies alive for people throughout the world and for future generations who strive to serve humanity and alleviate suffering.
Our programs focus on health, humanitarian and peace efforts; support healthcare development in under-served areas; and motivate young people to serve the community and the environment as a way of life. We've introduced students to volunteer opportunities in the local area, sent students on international trips to assist the needy, and brought inspiring world leaders to campus to speak on current issues.
Current projects of the institute continue to be inspired by Schweitzer, and its programs are multiplying as interest is generated among students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community. Most importantly, Quinnipiac University's commitment to international understanding and community service enables the institute to fulfill its vital mission of encouraging young adults to expand their horizons to a global perspective in the areas of environmentally sustainable living, humanitarian values, health care and peace.
The Albert Schweitzer Institute regurlarly sponsors events on campus and in the community. Check back soon for more upcoming events.
Our Projects, Programs and Partners
Food Security & the Environment
A community, household, or individual is described as food secure when they have consistent access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious and culturally relevant food. A central paradox of American society today is that nearly a third of American people live with food insecurity while at the same time our food system produces nearly 40% more food than is used. This level of waste has social as well as environmental implications.
The Albert Schweitzer Institute works to address this issue on campus and in our local community by spearheading initiatives on campus (such as food rescue in our dining facilities) and in the community: the Schweitzer Institute will be managing a community garden in the Town of Hamden that will provide produce to a local food bank.
We offer paid student internships during the summer and academic year to run these programs and develop new initiatives that promote Schweitzerian values around food and the environment.
In the fall of 2019, the Albert Schweitzer Institute will kick off a multi-year project to reach out to native peoples and explore the relationship between Quinnipiac University and the natural, cultural, and indigenous history of the land we call home.
Leave Your Mark for Peace
The semi-annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates brings Quinnipiac students together with thousands of others from the international community. The summit gives participating students the opportunity to meet and listen to past winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as other activists who have put their lives on the line to address the important issues of the day to effect change worldwide.
The September 2019 Summit is held in Merida, Mexico. Thirty Quinnipiac students have been selected to attend with students from schools and universities around the world. Students will interact with Nobel Laureates and engage in the Summit’s Leading by Example youth program.
Opportunities in Global Engagement
The Albert Schweitzer Institute conducts community-engaged, global living excursions to select locations around the world. Our focus on these trips is to pursue the meaning of Schweitzer’s philosophy of reverence for life by working with and living in communities that offer us new experiences and knowledge in lifestyles, environmental sustainability, and world cultures.
- August: Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and Quechua life
- January: Biodiversity and Eco-village Living in India
- March: Regenerative Agriculture and Sustainable Living in Guatemala
- May: Ecovillage Living in New England
The Albert Schweitzer Institute holds consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. The Institute regularly organizes trips to the United Nations for conferences and other open dialogues concerning the social, political and economic issues facing various world regions today - such as sustainable development, women’s participation and welfare, and nuclear disarmament.
Quinnipiac Global Engagement Fellowship
The Albert Schweitzer Institute hosts Quinnipiac’s Global Engagement Fellowship, a group of faculty and students who work together for community-engaged action to address challenges in Food Security, Immigration, Prisoner Re-Integration, and other topics where global awareness can confront local reality and challenge us to act.
The Oxford Consortium for Human Rights
Quinnipiac University and the Albert Schweitzer Institute are a member of the Oxford Consortium of Human Rights. The Consortium offers opportunities for students to attend workshops focused on human rights at the United Nations, at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and at other sites around the world.
The Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival
The Albert Schweitzer Institute has partnered with the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival in Hartford, Connecticut to open up opportunities for students to explore their musical interests in the context of this annual celebration of Schweitzer’s musical legacy. The ASOF is the premier competition for young organ students in North America. Members of the Quinnipiac community are invited to attend the weekend of concerts associated with the Festival.
The Albert Schweitzer Museum
Housed inside the institute, the museum is a memorial museum open to the public that allows visitors to experience highlights from Schweitzer’s life of history-making humanitarianism. The museum traces Dr. Schweitzer’s life as a young man through his later years with authentic photographs, works of art created by Schweitzer’s colleagues in Africa and artifacts from his years at Lambarene.
Albert Schweitzer Faculty Fellowship
The Schweitzer Faculty Fellowship cultivates scholarly and creative work among the faculty at Quinnipiac, who work on projects that promote and extend Dr. Schweitzer's values of service and human dignity.
Who Was Albert Schweitzer?
Physician. Philosopher. Humanitarian.
Nobel Prize Winner Albert Schweitzer was born in 1875, in Kaysersberg, Alsace – then part of the German Empire. The son of a pastor, he developed progressive interpretations of the Christian tradition, and at the age of 30, determined that he should commit the rest of his life to serving others.
Schweitzer trained as a medical doctor and built a hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, where he attended to the medical needs of the underserved population in the Central African country. During this time, he developed his famous philosophy of Reverence for Life – the idea that all life is worthy of our awe and respect, and protection of life should inform and motivate our actions. For his humanitarian efforts and commitment to social, economic and political development, Schweitzer was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952.
Schweitzer also became a key figure in a growing environmental movement that exposed the harm caused to humans and the biosphere by atmospheric nuclear testing. His historic 1954 Nobel Lecture, titled “The Problem of Peace,” emphasized the evils of modern warfare, the tensions of nationalism, rival claims to land, and the threat posed to lasting peace by the nuclear age.
Schweitzer continued to work tirelessly to promote a life-affirming society until his death in 1965, at the age of 90. His name and legacy continue to live on around the world. A prolific writer during his lifetime, Schweitzer’s most notable published works include: The Quest of the Historical Jesus (1906), On the Edge of the Primeval Forest (1922), The Philosophy of Civilization, Parts I & II (1923), Memoires of Childhood and Youth (1924), and Out of My Life and Thought (1931).
Work with us
The Schweitzer Institute supports paid internships in Environmental Sustainability, Food Security, Human Rights and Global Engagement, and Communications. It also supports one summer intern to participate in a Community Gardening internship in New Haven, through the New Haven Land Trust.
Travel with us
Join us on one of our Global Engagement programs, or travel with us to the United Nations in New York.
Engage with us
Attend one of our many speakers or events on campus, or get involved with one of our many activities on campus and in the Hamden community: food rescue, community gardening, environmental sustainability – or suggest a project of your own that we can help support.
The Albert Schweitzer Institute
Quinnipiac University, CL-SCH
275 Mount Carmel Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518
Schweitzer Professor of Philosophy