Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greg Mortenson to speak at Saint Martin’s University on May 13

April 23, 2010

Lacey, Washington — Humanitarian, writer, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greg Mortenson will speak at Saint Martin’s University on Thursday, May 13 at 6:45 p.m. in the Hal and Inge Marcus Pavilion. The program, sponsored by the Olympia High School (OHS) Rotary Interact Club, The Olympia Rotary Club, The Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, and Saint Martin’s, is part of Mortenson’s day-long visit to Thurston County. The visit also includes an afternoon student march for schools organized by the OHS Interact Club, that will culminate in a rally on the state capitol steps. The evening program is open to the public, and families are encouraged to attend (see ticket details below).

Mortenson is the protagonist and co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission To Promote Peace... One School At A Time. His most recent book Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the sequel to Three Cups of Tea, was released in December. In 2009 he was awarded the "Star of Pakistan" and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Founder of the educational charity Pennies For Peace, Mortenson is also the co-founder and director of the non-profit Central Asia Institute (CAI). CAI is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting education and literacy, especially for girls, in remote mountain regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. As of October 2009, Central Asia Institute has established over 131 schools in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan, which provide education to 54,000 students including over 44,000 girls. Plans for Mortenson’s visit began when OHS Rotary Interact Club co-president Kaycee Keegan wrote Mortenson a letter as part of a senior project. Keegan and the Interact Club are working with area schools to have their students participate in the student march and consider a Pennies for Peace drive.

For more details about Greg Mortenson’s Thurston County events, visit the website For more information about the evening program, contact the president of the Olympia Rotary Club, Sean Padget at For more information about the student march, contact co-presidents of OHS Rotary Interact Club, Kaycee Keegan at or Teasha Feldman at

Tickets for the evening program are $25 for adults and $10 for students. Proceeds will go to Greg Mortenson to help build schools for children in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Tickets are available at Over 2400 tickets have already been sold. Note that tickets will not be sold at the door.

Genevieve Canceko Chan
Director of communications & marketing
Saint Martin’s University