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Presidential Lecture Series

Greg Mortenson

Recognition Year: 

Co-author of bestseller Three Cups of Tea

"Promoting Peace through Education"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 
Apollo Room, Student Union

Co-author of the number-one bestseller Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time, Greg Mortenson is a humanitarian, international peacemaker, former mountaineer, and co-founder of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute, which promotes education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Mortenson’s phenomenal story began in 1993 on K2, the world’s second highest mountain, after rescuing another climber. On his descent, the exhausted Mortenson got lost and was aided by the people of a Pakistani village called Korphe. While there, he saw a group of children writing with sticks in the sand, so in gratitude for the villagers’ hospitality, he promised to return and build a school. That rash promise grew into a remarkable humanitarian campaign to which Mortenson has dedicated his life: to promote education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Mortenson has gone on to establish more than 90 schools in rural and often volatile regions of those two countries. Through his nonprofits, the Central Asia Institute and Pennies for Peace, Mortenson has built schools that provide a rare opportunity for education to more than 38,000 children, including 27,000 girls.

Three Cups of Tea has sold more than three million copies in 34 countries. It has been used in more than 90 colleges and universities as a freshman, honors or campus-wide read, including as Wright State’s common text for incoming freshmen for the 2009–2010 academic year. His newly released book, Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is a sequel to Three Cups of Tea.