Author of ‘Three Cups of Tea’ to speak at Auburn University

AUBURN – Greg Mortenson, American humanitarian and author of “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time,” will present a lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. in the Auburn Arena as a part of The Common Book Program, “Auburn Connects!” Tickets are free and the event is open to the public.

Mortenson is the founder of the Central Asia Institute, which is dedicated to promoting peace through the creation of schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “Three Cups of Tea” tells the tale of how he found his passion for his work and his struggles to get his first school built.

“Mortenson believes in education and his project is a key component to creating peace through learning,” said Constance Relihan, senior associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and chair of the Common Book committee. “At the university and throughout the Auburn community, people can relate to this. He provides encouragement especially for students.”

The Common Book program promotes a shared academic experience among students. A large number of Auburn’s freshman classes are integrating the book into coursework and class discussions, including all Learning Community sections.

Provost Mary Ellen Mazey, with the help of a selection committee, chose “Three Cups of Tea” based on a list of six goals: to promote intellectual community on campus; to help students gain a global perspective; to promote a culture of service; to emphasize individual empowerment, responsibility and the need for hard work; to help set the stage for intellectual engagement; and to be able to be linked to several types of programming on campus during the academic year.

“This is a book a lot of people can connect to,” Relihan said. “The goal was to provide a way to bring Auburn’s campus and community together, with a focus on the freshmen students. For this lecture, we invited parents to come back, the alumni are welcome and local schools are encouraged to come.”

Other events on campus are being held in collaboration with the lecture, including the International Student Organization’s Annual Peace Dinner, a marathon reading of the book and an international film series.

“This creates the opportunity for campus conversations about each issue raised in Three Cups of Tea including education, relations with the world and Islam,” Relihan said. “Each event is designed to address these issues from all angles and dimensions.”

Tickets for faculty and staff with an Auburn ID will be distributed on the Haley Center Concourse through Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets for the community will be available Oct. 21 and 22 at the Auburn Chamber of Commerce from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Parking will be available in the C-Zone lots adjacent to the arena and Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum and in the parking deck between Jordan-Hare Stadium and Plainsman Park. Doors will open at 5:45 p.m.

For more information about the “Auburn Connects!” Common Book program, go to

(Written by Sarah Phillips.)

Contact: Constance Relihan, (334) 844-4026 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (