From President McCormack:

It is my pleasure to announce that on September 25, 2005, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan government in exile and winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, will visit the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus to deliver a talk entitled, "Peace, War, and Reconciliation." It will be an honor to welcome this internationally respected advocate of peace to our campus, and I hope that many in the Rutgers community will plan to attend this lecture.

Details about the event itself will follow, but I write now to give interested faculty, students, and staff an opportunity to consider how to take best advantage of this unique opportunity. I have appointed a small organizing committee to coordinate the event, chaired by Richard Wilson, Department of Political Science, FAS-New Brunswick, and this committee has already begun planning some activities for the week leading up to the lecture. This committee has proposed that the visit of the Dalai Lama be the keynote event in a semester that focuses on issues related to conflict and moral obligation, and I am enthusiastic about this proposal. This broad rubric has the potential to foster explorations of a wide range of issues-e.g., human rights, animal rights, spirituality and nationhood, science and morality, environmental ethics, peace/war/resistance/ reconciliation, religion and global conflict. The committee envisions a semester that offers various honors seminars and special lectures that grapple with some of these issues, involving scholars from across the disciplines but also politicians, ethicists, religious leaders, writers, artists, performers and others whose work shares a concern with these global issues.

The visit of the Dalai Lama also gives us an opportunity to broaden our understanding of different cultures through related concerts, exhibits, films, and other cultural events. Most particularly, I am inviting student groups to become involved, to work together to plan events that will have meaning for you and your fellow students, that will speak to those issues that affect your lives directly, that demonstrate your engagement with the world of ideas and examine critically the country and the world you will soon shape.

The Dalai Lama's visit to Rutgers promises to be an exciting campus event, one capable of fostering an exceptional university-wide dialogue focused on relevant real-world issues, and I encourage you to begin planning now to take advantage of this opportunity. If you have questions about the work of the committee or about organizing events, you may contact Dr. Richard Wilson, the Committee's Chair ( rwwilson@rci.rutgers.edu ) or Dr. Linda Schulze, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs ( lschulze@rci.rutgers.edu /732-932-8068 ), who will be coordinating these events. A website providing information about the Dalai Lama's lecture and about related events will be available early next semester. I look forward with interest to widespread participation in this very exciting semester.