Desmond Tutu to Receive Gandhi Award on International Day of Peace


HARRISONBURG, Va. — The Most Rev. Desmond Tutu, recipient of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, will visit James Madison University to receive the Mahatma Gandhi Global Nonviolence Award on the International Day of Peace, Friday, Sept. 21.

Tutu will speak on "Goodness is Powerful" at the presentation program for the award, which is the JMU Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence's top honor. The program begins at 7 p.m. in the JMU Convocation Center.

"The visit by Archbishop Tutu to James Madison University will be a historic event for James Madison University, the City of Harrisonburg and the Commonwealth of Virginia," said JMU President Linwood H. Rose.

The name Desmond Tutu resonates profoundly with people all around the world. While his vigorous anti-apartheid activism in his native South Africa first propelled him into the glare of international news media, today he is revered as a moral voice and someone who speaks with gravitas on a range of issues. While he is an Anglican Archbishop Emeritus and steadfast in his religious beliefs, Tutu places great value on religious inclusiveness and interfaith dialogue.

Tutu will receive the Gandhi Award "for his contributions to peace, encouragement of a nonviolent approach to human relations and world affairs, and efforts to promote reconciliation and forgiveness among people," said Dr. Sushil Mittal, director of the Gandhi Center and an associate professor of religion at JMU.

Tutu joined the International Advisory Board of the Gandhi Center at JMU in 2005. "His influential endorsement of the Gandhi Center and its activities has been a major contributing factor to its development and success," said Dr. Myron Augsburger, president emeritus of Eastern Mennonite University and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Gandhi Center. Augsburger will offer a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing to Tutu at the award ceremony.

Tutu is the chairman of the Elders, an international alliance made up of senior statesmen dedicated to solving global problems. Nelson Mandela, former South African president; Jimmy Carter, former U.S. president; Kofi Annan, former U.N. secretary-general; Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland; and Mohammed Yunus, the Nobel laureate and founder of the Green Bank in Bangladesh, are among the other Elders.

Admission is free and open to all. Seating is on a first come, first seated basis. Convocation Center doors open at 5 p.m. It is recommended that the audience arrive early to avoid lines and crowds.

For more information, check the Gandhi Center Web site at

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Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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