Greg Mortenson, subject and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time, will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary degree at Colby’s 188th Commencement ceremonies, Sunday, May 24, 2009.
The cofounder and executive director of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute and founder of Pennies for Peace, Mortenson has dedicated his life to promoting community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls, in remote mountainous regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In 1993 Mortenson climbed Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second-highest mountain. After getting lost on the descent, Mortenson met a group of children in a local village writing with sticks in the sand. He vowed to help them build a school.
From that grew a humanitarian campaign. Mortenson has established more than 60 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan that provide education to more than 25,000 children, including 14,000 girls, for whom few education opportunities existed before.