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Dalai Lama to Speak at WCSU in October

The Dalai Lama will speak on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19 at Western Connecticut State University this fall during a speaking tour of the northeast.

The Dalai Lama will speak at Western Connecticut State University in October, bringing the world's unofficial Buddhist leader and one of the world's leading spiritual leaders to Western Connecticut for the first time.

This speaking engagement took nearly two years to organize, between two university professors and the Do Ngak Kunphen Ling (Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace) in Redding.

The events will be open to the public, and tickets will go on sale at a future date.

James Schmotter, Ph.D., and WCSU president, called the Dalai Lama's visit an extraordinary opportunity for the university and residents in the Danbury area to benefit from this unique learning opportunity.

"We know that his holiness will become a new friend as well when he comes to see us at the university," Schmotter said. "We have many friends, but we also have enemies _ and the one we struggle against every day is ignorance."

Do Ngak Kunphen Ling is the Tibetan Buddhist Center for Universal Peace in Redding. The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, and he has lived in exile from Tibet since 1959, living instead in the Indian city of Dharamsala, which is the seat of the Tibetan government in exile. For more than 50 years, he has been visiting countries around the world, meeting with religious, political and educational leaders, and in 1989 he won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Dalai Lama will speak at public forums from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Oct. 18 and again from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 19. He will appear at the Feldman Arena in the O'Neill Center of the WCSU Westside campus.

The final signing arrangements were made at the Office of Tibet in New York City on Jan. 10, with Schmotter representing the university and Janine Coover representing the DNKL board.

"We appreciate the university's help and support in this effort to arrange for His Holiness's visit to the community," Coover said. Coover said she was not only looking forward to the Dalai Lama's visit, but also to working together with WCSU in the future.

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