The two-day schedule includes academic panel discussions for faculty and students, a public talk by the Dalai Lama and a festival-style concert in the Carrier Dome featuring musicians from around the world. The concert is being recorded for broadcast television and will feature an original song written and performed by multiple artists, especially for His Holiness.

“Common Ground for Peace” is produced and sponsored by World Harmony Productions, established by SU Trustee Samuel Nappi. While traveling in India with the Venerable Lama Tenzin Dhonden—personal peace emissary for His Holiness the Dalai Lama—Nappi invited His Holiness to visit the SU campus. Nappi and Lama Tenzin Dhonden are co-chairs of the organizing committee for the peace forum.

“His Holiness’ first commitment is to the promotion of human values,” says Nappi, who has visited with heads of state throughout the world in an effort to better understand how a peace movement might be realized. “This two-day event asks us all to remember our common origins, to respect our religious and cultural differences, and to recognize our shared compassion and humanity.”

What makes this visit historic, Lama Tenzin Dhonden says, is the diversity of talented artists sharing their message of peace, love and compassion. “This gathering of musicians to sing a special song in the name of His Holiness has never occurred before,” he says. “My friend Sam shares our desire to encourage young people to reach love and peace through the common ground. This work is vitally significant.”

“We are profoundly honored to welcome His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Syracuse, and thankful to our Trustee Sam Nappi and World Harmony Productions for organizing and hosting this globally important event,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “Helping launch an international dialogue about the pursuit of peace at a time when the world seems increasingly divided advances SU’s legacy as an institution deeply engaged with the world’s most pressing issues.” 

NBC News national and international correspondent Ann Curry will moderate two panel discussions on October 8. Due to limited ticket availability, the panels will be available live via webcast and broadcast on closed-circuit television to several viewing locations on campus.

The forum culminates on Oct. 9 with a public talk by the Dalai Lama at 7 p.m., followed by the One World Concert, a festival-style music event in the Carrier Dome. His Holiness will speak about resolving conflict in one world through global consciousness, before the artists take to the stage to perform their original song. Comedian Whoopi Goldberg will emcee.

The benefit concert is expected to be one of the largest gatherings of international artists ever to travel to the region.