Tibet's Dalai Lama will give lecture at Rutgers in September

BY KELLY HEYBOER, Star-Ledger Staff, May 29, 2005

Rutgers, New Jersey (USA) -- The Dalai Lama will not visit Rutgers University until late September, but school officials are already receiving requests for tickets from as far away as Canada, Ireland and Hong Kong.

"They get anywhere from 15 to 20 inquiries a day," said Nicole Pride, a Rutgers spokeswoman. "These people are basically calling in and saying they will do anything to come."

Tickets to the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader's Sept. 25 lecture at Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway will officially go on sale to the public Wednesday. Admission is $10 per person. Groups of 20 or more traveling by bus will be charged $7 each.

Rutgers students can purchase up to two tickets at the discounted rate of $5 each.

There will be an additional $3 handling fee per order. Rutgers will also require visitors to pre-order $10 parking passes if they plan on driving to the stadium. The university will offer free shuttle buses from the New Brunswick train station.

Starting Wednesday, tickets can be purchased weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. by phone at (866) 445-4678 or in person at the Rutgers Athletic Center Ticket Office in the Louis Brown Athletic Center, 83 Rockefeller Road in Piscataway.

Online sales will begin later in the month. No tickets will be sold the day of the event.

Last February, Rutgers officials announced the Dalai Lama had accepted their offer to visit campus after several years of invitations. The Nobel Prize winner will deliver a lecture on "War, Peace and Reconciliation" and accept an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Rutgers.

University officials will also gather questions from the public via the Internet that the Tibetan leader will answer on stage.

The Dalai Lama has appeared in New Jersey in the past in smaller events. But Rutgers Stadium, which holds more than 41,000 people, will be his first stadium appearance in the Garden State.

Born Tenzin Gyatso in Tibet, the Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against the Chinese government that controls his homeland. The Dalai Lama, who is the 14th heir to Tibet's 600-year-old religious dynasty, continues to live in exile.

In 1989, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent fight against Communist rule in his native country.

Rutgers is planning a series of events around the Dalai Lama's visit, including lectures, cultural events and art exhibits. The university will also offer classes on Buddhism, human rights, East Asia and conflict resolution.

The school is also planning "Rutgers Reads the Dalai Lama," a university-wide reading club that will analyze the Dalai Lama's book, "Ethics for the New Millennium."

More information about the Dalai Lama's visit is available on the Web at president.rutgers.edu/dalailama.