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Mortenson opens Appalachian’s Visiting Writers Series Sept. 10

Location changed to Farthing Auditorium

threecupsoftea_t.jpgBOONE—Adventurer, humanitarian and author Greg Mortenson opens the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series Sept. 10 at Appalachian State University.

Mortenson will read from his book “Three Cups of Tea” and discuss his work in Central Asia beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Farthing Auditorium. The location has been changed from the writers series typical venue to accommodate more attendees. Books will be available for purchase and signing following Mortenson’s talk. Admission is free.

For more information about the fall Visiting Writers Series season, call 828-262-2871 or visit www.visitingwriters.appstate.edu. Parking is free on campus after 5 p.m.; however, visitors should be aware that numerous construction projects are affecting campus parking. Limited parking for the Sept. 10 program will be available in the Rivers Street parking deck, along Rivers Street and in any open parking spaces near academic buildings that typically are available after 5 p.m. Disability parking will be available at the Farthing Auditorium parking lot. For information about parking, call the university’s parking and safety department at 828-262-2878.

Mortenson co-wrote “Three Cups of Tea” with David Oliver Relin. The book chronicles Mortenson’s promise to build a school for children living in Korphe, Pakistan, in repayment for the kindness he received from villagers while recovering from a failed attempt in 1993 to reach the peak of K2, the second-highest mountain in the world.

The book has sold three million copies and has been published in 34 countries. It has been a New York Times bestseller for 120 weeks since its January 2007 release, and was named a Time Magazine Asia Book of The Year.

“Three Cups of Tea” is required reading for U.S. senior military commanders, for officers in the Norwegian War College, U.S. Special Forces deploying to Afghanistan, Pentagon officers in counter-insurgency training, and Canadian Defense Ministry members.

Mortenson is the co-founder of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute and Pennies For Peace, organizations that promote and support community-based education, especially for girls, in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

As of June, more than 90 schools in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan had been established, providing education to more than 34,000 children including 24,000 girls where few education opportunities existed before.

Mortenson has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by members of the U.S. Congress.  In March 2008, he received Pakistan’s highest civil award, Sitara-e-Pakistan (“Star of Pakistan”) for his courage and humanitarian effort to promote education and literacy in rural areas. In 2009, he received the Jefferson Award for Community Service from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Business.

The Fall 2009 Visiting Writers Series is supported by the Appalachian State University Foundation; Appalachian’s Offices of Academic Affairs, Multicultural Student Development, and Cultural Affairs; the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English, University College, The Center for Appalachian Studies, the Writing Across the Curriculum program, the Sustainable Development Program, the Summer Reading Program, the University Bookstore, and The Appalachian Journal.

Business sponsors are The Gideon Ridge Inn and The Red Onion Restaurant. Community sponsors include John and Marjorie Idol, Paul and Judy Tobin, Alice Naylor, Thomas McLaughlin, Mildred Luckhardt and The High Country Writers.

The Visiting Writers Series is named in honor of Hughlene Bostian Frank, class of 1968, a trustee and generous supporter of Appalachian State University.

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