Venerable Geshe Thupten Phelgye, Gonzaga University’s Global scholar in residence, will gift a Peace Pole to Gonzaga in a special installation and blessing ceremony that begins at 3 p.m., May 6 on the lawn behind College Hall.
“I would like to offer a Peace Pole to Gonzaga University for its institutional birthday celebrating the 125th anniversary of living out the Jesuit educational mission of the service of faith in the promotion of peace and social justice,” Geshe Phelgye said in a press release. “This is also an expression of my deep love and appreciation to the leadership of the university for inviting me as the first Global Scholar in Residence.”
The 8-foot-high Peace Pole is made of red cedar with the phrase “May Peace Prevail on Earth” inscribed on it in four languages (English, Tibetan, Hebrew and Arab). Geshe Phelgye, a Buddhist Tibetan monk who used his own resources to have the Peace Pole built, sees it as a visual statement and expression of shared beliefs in love and peace between Buddhists and Christians. He points out that all faith traditions worldwide have love and peace at their core, and hopes the energy of the Peace Pole will “inspire and transform the thoughts and actions of global peace among the students as well as all people who walk on the Gonzaga campus.”
According to a press release Geshe Phelgye wants the gift to embody the interreligious and intercultural relationship between a Tibetan Buddhist monk and Gonzaga.
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of SpokaneFāVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.