In his first university appearance in Ohio, the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book, Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson, will speak about his philanthropic work: bringing peace to a region by building schools and educating children in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He is the invited speaker for Case Western Reserve University's Fall Convocation at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 26, in Severance Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Mortenson, a mountain climber, will talk about the harrowing experience of his failed attempt to summit K2, the world's second highest mountain, and losing his way in the wilderness of this mountainous region in 1993.
While lost, he happened upon the small village of Korphe in the remote Karakoram region of the Himalayas. In response to the villagers' generosity, as a parting promise, he said he'd return and build a school. Mortenson wrote more than 580 letters to seek support for the school and bridge across the rugged terrain, but eventually his first school was built.
Today more than 38,708 children (including 27,524 girls) in this remote part of the world are receiving an education due to the efforts Mortenson has made through the organization Mortenson he co-founded, the Central Asia Institute. This includes 130 schools—81 in Pakistan and 49 in Afghanistan.
Three Cups of Tea was selected as the university's Common Reading book for incoming students. As part of their introduction to a strong component of their education at the university—community service—the first-year students are joining in a campus-wide effort, Pennies for Peace, to collect coins to give to the Central Asia Institute to build a new school. The cost of building a new school is between $15,000 and $40,000, depending upon the size and location.
The public is invited to join the Case Western Reserve University community in welcoming Mortenson to Ohio. Go online for more information.
Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.