University of Southern California

Student Interfaith Council Hosts the Dalai Lama

“Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace.” – His Holiness, the Dalai Lama


Student Share Their Impressions of the Dalai Lama’s Visit

Four USC students spoke with staff writer Ambrosia Viramontes-Brody about their impressions of the Dalai Lama’s talk at the USC Galen Center on May 3. The students interviewed:

  • Mary Ellen “Jem” Jebbia, a junior at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and vice president of the USC Student Interfaith Council, which hosted the Dalai Lama’s visit
  • Natanya Dauster, an anthropology major and a member of the council
  • Sarrah Shahawy, USC’s 2011 valedictorian, graduating with majors in biological sciences and French, and president of the Interfaith Council
  • Nathan Gonzalez, a junior majoring in sociology, psychology and philosophy, with a minor in photography

Read the full USC News story: Dalai Lama Instills Faith in USC Students

The Dalai Lama of Tibet Speaks at USC for the First Time

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet made his first visit to USC on May 3 in two events co-hosted by the USC Student Interfaith Council, the Dalai Lama Foundation and the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values.

Happiness – the basic human goal – depends upon good ethical conduct, regardless of one’s religious beliefs, he told 4,800 people at the Galen Center and later more than 1,200 at Bovard Auditorium. Most of the attendees were students.

Read the full USC News story: Dalai Lama of Tibet Speaks at USC for First Time

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, to visit USC on May 3, 2011

The University of Southern California’s Student Interfaith Council will host His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet for his first visit to USC, scheduled for May 3, 2011. The event is co-hosted by the Dalai Lama Foundation and the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values.

“The USC Student Interfaith Council is deeply honored to host His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, who embodies the religious pluralism and interfaith cooperation which we stand for,” said Interfaith Council President Sarrah Shahawy. “We anticipate that his visit will greatly enrich our USC community and enliven our discussions on interfaith dialogue, social responsibility, and spirituality and science.”

The visit will include two events open to the USC community and the public.

On the morning of May 3, the Dalai Lama will appear at the USC Galen Center to give a talk to the university community and general public on global ethics and universal responsibility titled, “Secular Ethics, Human Values and Society.” Following the lecture, the Dalai Lama will participate in a question and answer session moderated by Dr. James Doty, Chairman of the Dalai Lama Foundation and board member of the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC.

In an afternoon event, the Dalai Lama will join a panel of world-renowned scholars, including Antonio Damasio, Gideon Yaffe, Jonathan Haidt and Duncan Williams, for a discussion titled “Secular Ethics: Origins, Elements and Their Function in Society” at USC’s Bovard Auditorium. The session will be moderated by Pico Iyer, acclaimed journalist, essayist and author of a recent biography of the Dalai Lama.

USC Dean of Religious Life Varun Soni will provide welcome remarks at both events.


Both appearances are ticketed events and open to the public. Tickets, which range in price from $50 to $125, will be available at starting on Saturday, March 12, and by phone starting on Monday, March 14.

USC students will be eligible for discounted tickets of $20 for up to two tickets for the Bovard Auditorium event and up to four tickets for the Galen Center event. USC faculty and staff will be eligible for a discounted rate of $50 for up to two seats for the Bovard Auditorium event. All proceeds above expenses will be donated to the Dalai Lama Foundation.

Parking Information

Parking will available at the USC Parking Center (UPX) and Parking Structure Two (PS2). For more information about parking and directions, please visit

Venue Restrictions and Prohibited Items

The following items and activities are prohibited at both venues:

  • Cameras (video and/or still)
  • Recording devices of any kind (audio and/or video)
  • Backpacks, large bags, coolers, or large purses
  • Cans or bottles of any kind
  • Banners, posters, or similar large items
  • Umbrellas or strollers
  • Laptop or notebook computers
  • Amplification equipment or noisemakers
  • Food, alcohol, or beverages
  • Unauthorized fliers, brochures, or merchandise
  • Unauthorized collection, donation, or commercial activities

Please note that dangerous/and or disruptive behavior will be cause for immediate removal from the venue and may result in criminal arrest and prosecution.

Cell phones will be permitted.

Videos from the events


The Dalai Lama Foundation USC Interfaith Council

The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values