The University of Redlands will welcome His Holiness the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, to campus March 24, 2015, as the only Southern California stop on his third trip to the United States. Reigniting a years-long connection with the University and special bond with students, the Karmapa will interact with Redlands students, faculty, and alumni and accept an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, presented by University President Ralph Kuncl. He will then offer a public lecture, "Living Interdependence," at 7 p.m. in Memorial Chapel.
The Karmapa heads the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism and guides millions of Buddhists around the world. At the age of 14, he made a dramatic escape from Tibet to India to be near His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his own lineage teachers.
Currently 29 years old, the Karmapa is a leader of the new century. He created an eco-monastic movement with over 55 monasteries across the Himalayan region acting as centers of environmental activism. Leading on women's issues, he recently announced plans to establish full ordination for women, a step that will change the future of Tibetan Buddhism.
His latest book, The Heart is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out, co-edited by University of Redlands Professor of Religious Studies and Virginia C. Hunsaker Distinguished Teaching Chair, Karen Derris, the Karmapa speaks to the younger generation on the major challenges facing society today, including gender issues, food justice, rampant consumerism and the environmental crisis. The book is based on his interactions with American university students, including University of Redlands students who in 2011 and 2013, with Prof. Derris, visited the Karmapa in India as special seminars offered in the University's Johnston School for Integrative Studies.
The Karmapa is visiting six U.S. universities: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, University of Wisconsin, Stanford, and Redlands as the sole Southern California institution of any kind to be included on his tour.