The Dalai Lama to speak at SMU, receive honorary degree May 9, 2011

His Holiness the Dalai LamaThe Dalai Lama, renowned spiritual leader of Tibet and Nobel laureate, will deliver a special lecture and receive an honorary degree at SMU’s 10th Hart Global Leaders Forum from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Monday, May 9, 2011 in McFarlin Auditorium.

His Holiness will speak to approximately 2,500 guests, primarily local high school students and SMU students and faculty. Current SMU students, faculty and staff will be able to obtain up to two tickets beginning May 3 at the Mane Desk. A valid SMU ID and birthdate for all attendees is required to pick up tickets. Tickets are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

A limited number of free tickets will be available to the general public by online request. UPDATE: Due to overwhelming demand, tickets for the general public are sold out. Members of the general (non-SMU) public may join a ticket waiting list.

The Dalai Lama’s visit comes during an important period of transition, as the 76-year-old leader announced in mid-March that he will retire as head of state for the Tibetan government-in-exile to focus on spiritual matters. The Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his consistent opposition to the use of violence in his campaign to end Chinese rule in Tibet.

Since its inception in 1999, the Hart Global Leaders program has brought a series of prestigious speakers to the SMU campus for seminars and forums, including former Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush, Gen. Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The program is committed to the development of young people into ethical, responsible leaders and citizens and is made possible through the generosity of Mitch and Linda W. Hart.

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