The third annual Dr. Midori Yamanouchi Lecture Series at Misericordia University is presenting Ishmael Beah, 32, a former child solider in Sierra Leone and a N.Y. Times bestselling author, for the presentation, “A Long Way Gone: A Story of Redemption and Hope,’’ on Monday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall.
Tickets for the event are free, but seating is limited. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Misericordia University Cultural Events Box Office at (570) 674-6719 or the remaining available tickets can be picked up at the lobby box office up to 10 minutes prior to the show. A meet-and-greet and book-signing session for his New York Times bestseller, “A Long Way Gone: Memoir of a Boy Soldier,’’ will follow immediately after the presentation.
Beah is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “A Long Way Gone: Memoir of a Boy Soldier,’’ in which he chronicles how he was orphaned by the civil war in Sierra Leone, forced to become a child soldier and then how he struggled to regain his humanity and reenter the world.
At the age of 12, he was carrying an AK-47, and, pumped up by drugs, forced to kill or be killed. He fought for more than two years with the government army before he was removed from the conflict by UNICEF. After completing rehabilitation, Beah won a competition to attend a conference at the United Nations to talk about the devastating effects of civil war on children in his country.
Since then, he graduated from high school at the United Nations International School and went on to Oberlin College in Ohio. Beah has continued his advocacy work to bring attention to the plight of child soldiers and children affected by war around the world. He has spoken on behalf of the United Nations Secretary General’s Office for Children and Armed Conflict, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, and discussed the issue with Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton.
The Yamanouchi Lecture Series is part of a weeklong schedule of activities to mark and observe the inauguration of Misericordia University’s 13th president, Thomas J. Botzman, Ph.D., on Friday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. in Lemmond Theater.
Inauguration Week continues on Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the lobby of the Banks Student Life Center as students, faculty and staff outline their service work abroad. Poster and slide presentations will highlight the volunteer work that Misericordia students, faculty and staff have done in the United States, Guyana, Jamaica, and in regional communities.
The University’s College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Sciences, and College of Professional Studies and Social Sciences will present the research and scholarly work of professors and students from 3-5 p.m. in Lemmond Theater in Walsh Hall on Thursday, Nov. 14. A free interactive cooking presentation by Father Leo Patalinghug, the founder and host of “Grace Before Meals’’ (www.gracebeforemeals.com), will be held at 7 p.m. in the Huntzinger and Alden Trust Rooms 218-219 of Sandy and Marlene Insalaco Hall. A book signing will follow immediately after the event. Both events are open free to the public.
Father Leo, a priest in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Md., established “Grace Before Meals’’ as an apostolate to strengthen families and communities around the dinner table. He has appeared on ABC, CBS, PBS and The Food Network, sharing a message of hope and bringing people together one meal at a time. Father Leo is also known for defeating a world-famous chef in the cooking competition show, “Throw Down! With Bobby Flay.’’
The Inauguration Day of Service and the annual Trustee Associates Gala on Saturday, Nov. 16 complete the week of events. President Botzman, students, faculty and staff will participate in a series of service projects for Habitat for Humanity, the Catherine McAuley House and Mercy Services in the morning. The Trustee Associates Gala in the evening recognizes friends of the University.
Misericordia University students will also be collecting nonperishable food items at each Inauguration Week event to benefit the Back Mountain and Noxen food pantries.