The Emory Tibet Partnership is dedicated to creating teaching opportunities
that cut across disciplinary boundaries and foster cross-cultural understanding.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Presidential Distinguished Professor
For information on the 2013 visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Emory University, please visit dalailama.emory.edu.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Geshe Lobsang Tenzin, and Dr. Holli Semetko
In January 2007 Dr. Holli Semetko (Vice Provost for International Affairs) and Geshe Lobsang Tenzin (Chair, Emory-Tibet Partnership),
representing President James Wagner and Emory University, traveled to Bangalore,
India, to present to His Holiness the Dalai Lama an invitation to join Emory's
faculty as Presidential Distinguished Professor. His Holiness accepted the
offer, stating, "I firmly believe that education is an indispensable
tool for the flourishing of human well-being and the creation of a just and
peaceful society, and I am delighted to be able to make a small contribution
in this regard through this appointment."
This historic event makes Emory the only university to have the honor of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama's presence on its faculty. It was made possible through
both the close ties established through the Emory-Tibet Partnership and the
like-mindedness of vision shared by the university and His Holiness regarding
the value of an education that molds both character and intellect. As Emory
President James Wagner wrote in an accompanying letter, "Your Holiness's
acceptance of the Presidential Distinguished Professorship will be a constant
source of inspiration and encouragement for our faculty, staff, and students
as we strive to realize this vision of educating both heart and mind for the
greater good of humanity."
His Holiness's investiture as Presidential Distinguished Professor took
place during his last visit to Emory in October 2007. The theme for this three-day
visit was "Educating the Heart and Mind: A Path to Universal Responsibility." In addition
to a public talk at Olympic Park, His Holiness participated in an interfaith
conference with leaders from other religious traditions on the topic of "Religion
as a Source of Conflict and Peace-Building" and a conference on Science
and Spirituality with scientists from Emory and other institutions across the
country. His Holiness's visit further deepened Emory's ties with the Tibetan
tradition, and provided an international showcase for the university's
strategic theme of "Religion and the Human Spirit."
In addition to visiting Emory University to give lectures and participate
in conferences, His Holiness teaches students on Emory's Tibetan study abroad
programs in Dharamsala, India each spring and summer, and provides guidance for the many
projects and programs of the Emory-Tibet Partnership.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama was born in 1935 in the Amdo region of Tibet.
In 1950 he assumed full political power as head of state and government in
Tibet. In 1959 the Chinese invasion of Tibet forced His Holiness into exile,
and he has since resided in the Indian hill station town of Dharamsala. Since
then he has committed himself to three main goals—the promotion of universal
human values, harmony among the world's religious traditions, and a peaceful
settlement to the issue of Tibet.
From an early age, His Holiness took an interest in science, and has often
said that if he were not a monk, he would have liked to be an engineer. For
the past thirty years, he has been meeting regularly with scientists from a
variety of fields to learn from them and to discuss points of contact between
science and Buddhist thought. At the heart of His Holiness' investigation is
the question of how, through comparative dialogue between science and Buddhism,
we can address the needs of humanity on both physical and mental levels.
In 1989 His Holiness was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment
to non-violence in his struggle to find a peaceful resolution to the issue
of Tibet. In September, 2006, Congress passed a bill to award His Holiness
the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor in the nation, for
his advocacy of religious harmony, non-violence, and human rights throughout
the world, and for his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue
through dialogue with the Chinese leadership.
Please click here to see the acceptance letter of
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and President Wagner's letter to His Holiness.