Emory University logo Emory-Tibet Partnership
about us
academics & study abroad
His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Presidential Distinguished Professor
Tibetan Buddhist Studies
Tibetan Studies In Dharamsala
Tibetan Language
Distinguished Visiting Tibetan Scholars
Interdisciplinary Courses in Religion, Science, and Mind/Body Medicine
Tibetan Students at Emory
emory tibet science initiative
research & service
news & events
support the partnership
resources & links
partnership homepage
Emory Tibet image
Emory Tibet image
Tibetan flags, Academics & Study Abroad

The Emory Tibet Partnership is dedicated to creating teaching opportunities that cut across disciplinary boundaries and foster cross-cultural understanding.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Presidential Distinguished Professor

For information on the 2013 visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Emory University, please visit dalailama.emory.edu.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Geshe Lobsang Tenzin, and Dr. Holli Semetko
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Geshe Lobsang Tenzin, Dr. Holli Semetko

In January 2007 Dr. Holli Semetko (Vice Provost for International Affairs) and Geshe Lobsang Tenzin (Chair, Emory-Tibet Partnership), representing President James Wagner and Emory University, traveled to Bangalore, India, to present to His Holiness the Dalai Lama an invitation to join Emory's faculty as Presidential Distinguished Professor. His Holiness accepted the offer, stating, "I firmly believe that education is an indispensable tool for the flourishing of human well-being and the creation of a just and peaceful society, and I am delighted to be able to make a small contribution in this regard through this appointment."

This historic event makes Emory the only university to have the honor of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's presence on its faculty. It was made possible through both the close ties established through the Emory-Tibet Partnership and the like-mindedness of vision shared by the university and His Holiness regarding the value of an education that molds both character and intellect. As Emory President James Wagner wrote in an accompanying letter, "Your Holiness's acceptance of the Presidential Distinguished Professorship will be a constant source of inspiration and encouragement for our faculty, staff, and students as we strive to realize this vision of educating both heart and mind for the greater good of humanity."

His Holiness's investiture as Presidential Distinguished Professor took place during his last visit to Emory in October 2007. The theme for this three-day visit was "Educating the Heart and Mind: A Path to Universal Responsibility." In addition to a public talk at Olympic Park, His Holiness participated in an interfaith conference with leaders from other religious traditions on the topic of "Religion as a Source of Conflict and Peace-Building" and a conference on Science and Spirituality with scientists from Emory and other institutions across the country. His Holiness's visit further deepened Emory's ties with the Tibetan tradition, and provided an international showcase for the university's strategic theme of "Religion and the Human Spirit."

In addition to visiting Emory University to give lectures and participate in conferences, His Holiness teaches students on Emory's Tibetan study abroad programs in Dharamsala, India each spring and summer, and provides guidance for the many projects and programs of the Emory-Tibet Partnership.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama was born in 1935 in the Amdo region of Tibet. In 1950 he assumed full political power as head of state and government in Tibet. In 1959 the Chinese invasion of Tibet forced His Holiness into exile, and he has since resided in the Indian hill station town of Dharamsala. Since then he has committed himself to three main goals—the promotion of universal human values, harmony among the world's religious traditions, and a peaceful settlement to the issue of Tibet.

From an early age, His Holiness took an interest in science, and has often said that if he were not a monk, he would have liked to be an engineer. For the past thirty years, he has been meeting regularly with scientists from a variety of fields to learn from them and to discuss points of contact between science and Buddhist thought. At the heart of His Holiness' investigation is the question of how, through comparative dialogue between science and Buddhism, we can address the needs of humanity on both physical and mental levels.

In 1989 His Holiness was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his commitment to non-violence in his struggle to find a peaceful resolution to the issue of Tibet. In September, 2006, Congress passed a bill to award His Holiness the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor in the nation, for his advocacy of religious harmony, non-violence, and human rights throughout the world, and for his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Tibet issue through dialogue with the Chinese leadership.

Please click here to see the acceptance letter of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and President Wagner's letter to His Holiness.



Emory-Tibet Science Initiative department of religion CIPA MESAS Emory College Emory University Drepung Loseling Monastery