(April 6, 2015 – New Haven, Connecticut) The 17th Karmapa arrived today at Yale University at 5 pm, and immediately embarked upon a full evening’s program. The Office of the President of Yale had arranged a special welcome reception for the Karmapa: the university counts among its thousands of employees a total of eight Tibetans. Those eight, along with their immediate family members, were invited by the Office of the President to give His Holiness a traditional Tibetan welcome on behalf of both the university and the Tibetan community. During the emotional reception, His Holiness granted each Tibetan an individual blessing, gave a name to the newborn child of one of those present and took a group photo with the Tibetans.
Next was a welcome dinner hosted by the steering committee of the Yale Himalaya Initiative, including George Joseph from Yale’s Office of International Affairs, Sir Peter Crane, Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, as well as other faculty from the departments of public health and religious studies.
From there, His Holiness proceeded to Kroon Hall, which serves as a “showcase of the latest developments in green building technology” and houses the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. Following that, His Holiness the Karmapa attended a lecture on Himalayan geography, and with that, an intensive first evening on campus was successfully concluded.
Tomorrow, His Holiness will continue this environmentally-focused university visit, meeting with students engaged in various environmental initiatives. In the afternoon, he will deliver a lecture entitled “Compassion into Action: Buddhism and the Environment to a sold-out audience including university faculty and students in the 2,500-seat Woolsey Hall. (The university has issued important guidelines for those planning to attend the lecture. Read those guidelines here.)
The 17th Karmapa is being awarded the prestigious Chubb Fellowship in recognition of his achievements in the area of environmental leadership. His Holiness the Karmapa’s visit to Yale is being co-sponsored by the Chubb Fellowship, the Yale Himalaya Initiative, the Department of Religious Studies, and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.