Vietnam War child icon to speak at Auburn University April 12

Vietnam Napalm 1972AUBURN – Kim Phuc Phan Thi, a prominent advocate for children affected by war throughout the world, will speak at Auburn University’s Langdon Hall at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 12. A reception will be held in the Langdon Hall courtyard beginning at 6 p.m. The lecture and reception are free to the public.

Phuc is best known from a 1972 photograph as the young girl running naked from her Vietnamese village after a napalm bomb attack during the Vietnam War. The striking photograph depicting the harsh reality of war later won the Pulitzer Prize.

Severely burned by the napalm, Phuc was able to return to her province after more than a year of recovery under doctors’ supervision and became a national symbol of war in Vietnam. After attending school in Cuba, Phuc eventually settled in Canada.

She used her status as the girl from the famed photograph to start The Kim Foundation International which provides medical and psychological assistance to children affected by war, as well as to become a Goodwill Ambassador for the Culture of Peace for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Today, Phuc shares her experiences in order to help others heal from the pain of war.

The lecture is part of the Auburn University Year of East Asia. Throughout 2012, Auburn will celebrate the cultures and contributions of East Asian nations with events such as lectures, performances, films and culinary demonstrations.

The Year of East Asia will continue with the East Asian Film Series April 18, 19, 23 and 24. Featuring movies from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong, the film series will take place at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art. Films begin at 6 p.m. each evening of the series.

For more information about the Year of East Asia, visit or contact Jennifer Mason in the Office of International Programs at (334) 844-5027 or

(Contributed by Brandon Fincher.)

Contact: Jennifer Mason, Office of International Programs, (334) 844-5027 (, or
Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (