Kailash Satyarthi, a 2014 co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, will visit University of Lynchburg on Monday, April 9, to meet with students and receive an honorary degree.
Satyarthi will meet with student leaders Monday morning before a luncheon with invited guests, where he will receive the honorary doctorate. In the afternoon he will attend a class.
“We are excited to honor Kailash Satyarthi with an honorary degree and have him speak with our students,” said University of Lynchburg President Dr. Kenneth R. Garren. “His courageous and selfless service have made the world better for thousands of people, and we can learn much from his example.”
Monday’s visit is two years in the making. Dr. Garren met Satyarthi while touring India in 2016 and invited him to receive the honorary degree on campus. “I’m delighted that his travel schedule allows him to visit us this spring so more members of the University of Lynchburg community can meet him,” Dr. Garren said.
Satyarthi is a human rights activist from India at the forefront of the global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labor. He has led the rescue of more than 80,000 child slaves and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation. He was the architect of the Global March Against Child Labor, the largest civil society network advocating on behalf of exploited children.
Before his involvement as a grassroots activist, Satyarthi was an electrical engineer.
In 2014, the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 was awarded to Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani advocate for education for women and girls. The Nobel Foundation honored the two activists “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education.”
His visit comes only about one month before Setsuko Nakamura Thurlow ’55 will visit campus.. Thurlow accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2017 as a representative of the 2017 Nobel honoree, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. She will receive an honorary doctorate during the Baccalaureate service on May 11 and she will be the Commencement speaker on May 12.