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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

UNI prepares to host the Dalai Lama for celebration of education

September 17, 2008

The Gazette, Iowa

CEDAR FALLS - The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet has accepted an invitation 
from the University of Northern Iowa to visit campus for a day of 
celebrating education and the pursuit of knowledge.

UNI is working with the Dalai Lama's North American Representative to 
secure a date.

"It is a great honor to have the Dalai Lama accept our invitation to 
spend time on campus and share his views on the educational values 
shared by him and UNI," said UNI President Benjamin Allen. "During an 
audience with the Dalai Lama this summer I was very impressed by his 
compassion, his humanity and humility and his directness. His presence 
at UNI will have an impact that lasts long beyond his visit.

"We are aware of the Dalai Lama's health concerns, and our plans will 
depend on his health and decisions from his office. We remain hopeful 
that the Dalai Lama will visit UNI within the next few years."

The Dalai Lama is the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet, 
living in exile in Dharamsala, India. He is well known as a 
humanitarian and an advocate of peace. In 1989, he received the Nobel 
Peace Prize.

UNI extended a formal invitation to the Dalai Lama in February 2007, 
recognizing a shared value in education and support for Tibetan 
education. Since 1994, UNI has had a relationship with The Tibet Fund, 
supporting scholarships for Tibetan students to study at UNI. Twenty-
six Tibetan students have received scholarships to study at UNI 
through this partnership, the majority of whom enroll in programs in 
UNI's College of Education.

"Our Tibetan students have been active on campus and found 
opportunities to share their culture in the classroom and community. 
They truly appreciate their education," said Kristi Marchesani, UNI 
assistant director of admissions/international relations. "I see many 
further opportunities for them to share their worldviews as we prepare 
for the Dalai Lama's visit."

Details of the visit and pre- and post-visit events and activities 
will be finalized after the event date is set. Jan Hanish, UNI 
assistant vice president of outreach & special programs, will lead a 
steering committee to be named in the coming weeks.

"The focus will be on education in an increasingly global society, the 
role of education in developing socially responsible citizens and the 
impact an individual can have on the world," Hanish said. "We want to 
involve all of UNI's colleges and departments and community members of 
all ages as we prepare for the Dalai Lama's visit. We have been given 
a special opportunity to learn more about arts, culture, world 
religions, politics, peace and the 14th Dalia Lama of Tibet who is 
considered one of the great world leaders."
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