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Desmond Tutu to speak at Vanderbilt

Apr. 16, 2003, 12:57 PM

Photo, click here for a high resolution image of Tutu (320 KB) NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Archbishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and one of the world’s foremost human rights advocates, will address the Vanderbilt community on Wednesday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Langford Auditorium.

The event is open to the public. Tickets must be obtained in advance and are free to students, faculty and staff and $10 for the general community. Tickets are available at or at the TicketMaster box office in Vanderbilt’s Sarratt Student Center.

Tutu is internationally regarded as one of the most prominent civil rights leaders of the late 20th century. His work has focused on ending apartheid in South Africa. More recently, he has voiced his opposition to the war in Iraq.

A native of South Africa, Tutu began his career in education. He was ordained a priest of the Anglican Church in 1961 and, in 1975, appointed dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg, the first black to hold the position. From 1978-85, he served as the first black general secretary of the South African Council of Churches. It was in this position that Tutu became a national and international figure, speaking out against the injustices of the apartheid system. Tutu’s efforts culminated in his winning the Nobel Prize in 1984.

In 1995, South African President Nelson Mandela appointed Tutu to chair South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the body established to bridge the gap between the era of human rights abuse under the past apartheid government and the era of equality under the new, democratic one.

Tutu retired from public life as Archbishop of Cape Town in June 1996. He has set up a private office in Cape Town near his home. His latest book, No Future Without Forgiveness, was honored with the Book of the Year Award by the Association of Theological Booksellers of the United States.

Tutu’s appearance at Vanderbilt is sponsored by the University Speaker’s Committee, Project Dialogue, Vanderbilt Divinity School, the AIDS in Africa Project, the Organization of Black Graduate and Professional Students, the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, the Division of Student Life and International Student and Scholar Services.

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Media Contact: Kara Furlong, (615)322-NEWS</FONT>