(Portland, Ore.)—Greg Mortenson, co-author of the New York Times bestselling book Three Cups of Tea and champion for children’s education in the remote mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan, will give the College of Arts and Sciences commencement address on Sunday, May 11.
Mortenson’s dedication to humanitarian work reflects the college’s own commitment to promoting global leadership among its students. Approximately 475 Lewis & Clark students will earn bachelor’s degrees this May and half of them have participated in a study abroad program in regions such as East Africa, Cuba, Costa Rica and China. Graduates have also benefited from a global perspective in the classroom in courses as diverse as religious studies and economics. Lewis & Clark ranked ninth in the nation among small colleges and universities with the most Peace Corps Volunteers in 2007.
“Mortenson and his work exemplify the mission of this institution to prepare students as global citizens,” said Julio de Paula, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “No matter what careers our graduates move into, Mortenson’s story encourages them to remember their responsibility to the global community and opportunities to make the world a better place.”
In Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time Greg Mortenson and acclaimed journalist David Oliver Relin, recount the unlikely journey that led Mortenson from a failed attempt to climb Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain, to successfully building schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. By replacing guns with pencils, rhetoric with reading, Mortenson combines his unique background with his intimate knowledge of the third-world to fight terrorism with books, not bombs, and successfully bring education and hope to remote villages in central Asia.
Mortenson is also the co-founder of Central Asia Institute, a nonprofit that promotes community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Central Asia. He also raises awareness in the United States about educational needs around the globe through a unique public education and fundraising campaign called Pennies for Peace.
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