Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Speak at SJU

Nobel Laureate will talk on "Creating a Community of Peace"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

PHILADELPHIA (March 26, 2008) – Nobel Peace Laureate and human rights activist Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will visit Saint Joseph's University on Sunday, April 6, and deliver a talk at 7 p.m., in the Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.

His lecture, "Creating a Community of Peace," will draw on his life's work as a tireless crusader in pursuit of peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world, his leadership as chairman of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, his role in helping his country bind up its wounds in the post-apartheid era, and most recently, his efforts to resolve the crisis in Kenya.  He continues to raise his voice for peace and justice around the world.

Saint Joseph's President Timothy R. Lannon, S.J., will introduce Tutu at the event, which is free and open to the public. It is presented by the Office of the President, Office of External Affairs, Office of Mission and Office of Institutional Diversity.

In addition to receiving the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, Tutu's accolades include the 1986 Magubela prize for liberty and the 2007 Gandhi Peace Prize, bestowed by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, president of India. Most recently, Tutu has traveled to Kenya, where he has been working to bring an end to the country's violence and political crisis.

Born in 1931 in Klerksdorp, South Africa, Tutu planned to become a school teacher until South Africa's white minority government in 1953 imposed on black students an inferior system of education that eliminated math and science classes in hopes of keeping them in a permanent underclass.  Tutu instead entered the seminary and was ordained in the Anglican church in 1961, continuing his studies at the University of London, where he earned a master's degree in theology.

After returning to South Africa, he was elected bishop of Lesotho, bishop of Johannesburg and archbishop of Cape Town. In 1995, President Nelson Mandela named Tutu to head the commission investigating human rights violations that occurred under apartheid. Tutu retired from the archdiocese of Cape Town in 1996 and has since served as archbishop emeritus.

While the April 6 event at Saint Joseph's is free, tickets are required. For ticket information, please contact Jeanne Montgomery ( in Saint Joseph's Office of External Affairs, 610-660-1109.

For media inquiries, please contact Harriet Goodheart ( in the Office of University Communications, 610-660-1222.

Media Contact

Harriet Goodheart, Assistant Vice President of University Communications, 610-660-1222,

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