Humanitarian, hostage negotiator and former hostage Terry Waite will deliver the lecture “Moral and Ethical Decisions” on Thursday, April 22, at 7 p.m. at Colby College. The event will be held in the Page Commons Room of Cotter Union on the Waterville campus. It is open to the public and free of charge. A book signing will follow the lecture.
Waite garnered international attention in the 1980s when, serving as a special envoy for the Archbishop of Canterbury, he successfully negotiated the release of hostages in Iran and Libya. In 1987, while negotiating the release of hostages in Beirut, Waite was taken hostage himself. He spent 1,763 days in captivity, the first four years of which were in total solitary confinement, and was chained to a wall, often left in darkness, beaten and subjected to mock executions. Yet, Waite returned home harboring no hostility or resentment toward his captors, no regret or self-pity for his experience. In February of 2004 Waite returned to Beirut for the first time since being freed in 1991 and publicly forgave his captors.
Since his release, Waite has devoted his time to humanitarian efforts around the word. He is the U.K. president of Emmaus International, a trustee for the Freeplay Foundation, founder and president of Y Care International and patron of the Children’s One to One Foundation.
Waite is the author of Taken on Trust, which recounts his experiences in captivity, and Footfalls in Memory: Reflections from Solitude, a collection of selections of books, poems and prayers he remembered during his solitary confinement in Beirut. His most recent book is Travels with a Primate, a humorous account of his journeys with the Archbishop of Canterbury. He currently is working on a book about solitude.
Waite frequently lectures on his experience as a hostage negotiator in high-risk conflict situations and as a captive. He also speaks about solitude.
The lecture is sponsored by Gail ’62 and Allan Gerrish in an effort to raise student awareness of spiritual, moral and ethical issues.