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Dolibois leaves legacy of service

By Reis Thebault
On May 6, 2014

  • John Dolibois

John Dolibois ('42), the namesake of Miami's European Luxembourg program, passed away Friday in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was 95 years old.

"It is difficult to adequately describe John and his accomplishments," University President David Hodge said.

Dalibois, his friends and family said, was a man of extreme loyalty.

"He was loyal to Miami, loyal to his country, loyal to his family," one of Dolibois' sons, Bob Dolibois, said.

A native of Luxembourg, Dolibois served as an intelligence officer for the U.S. Army during World War II and the Nuremburg War Trials.

"The role he played at Nuremberg is amazing," Hodge said.

He was the last surviving interrogator of some of the highest-ranking Nazi officials, including Herman Goering, Julius Streicher and Rudolf Hess.

After his service and a brief stint at Procter & Gamble, Dolibois returned to Miami in 1947 and became the university's first director of alumni affairs and development. Twenty years later, he was appointed the first vice president for development and alumni affairs and, later, served as vice president for university relations.

During his tenure at MU, Dolibois was instrumental in the founding of the John E. Dolibois European Center in Luxembourg.

Upon his retirement from Miami, Ronald Reagan appointed Dolibois as the Ambassador to Luxembourg, a position he held from 1981 to 1985. He was the first person to be appointed and serve as the ambassador of his birth country.

Dolibois has a penchant for leaving a lasting mark: the American embassy residence in Luxembourg is now called the "Dolibois House."

After leaving his post as ambassador, Dolibois and his wife Winnie Englehart Dolibois ('42) returned to Oxford for retirement. Until recently, Dolibois was a staple at alumni events and spoke frequently to students and other organizations.

"His passion for Miami was combined with his extraordinary humor and ability to tell stories," Hodge said. "He seemed to remember everyone and everything. He was quite simply one of the most incredible people I have ever known."

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