Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa spoke at Butler Sept. 12 at an event celebrating the establishment of the Desmond Tutu Center at Butler University and the Christian Theological Seminary.
Editor's note: This story will be updated.
When Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu took the stage at Clowes Memorial Hall Thursday evening, he asked for a moment of silence to honor the anniversary of 9/11 and the Sept. 12, 1977 assassination of South African anti-apartheid activist Steven Biko.
The rest of the evening was a celebration - of the power of love, possibility and the promise that good overcomes evil even in the face of what may appear to be overwhelming odds.
The Indianapolis Children's Choir greeted Tutu with a series of lively African songs.
Prior to Tutu taking the stage, Butler President James M. Danko and CTS President Matthew Myer Boulton announced the establishment of the Desmond Tutu Center, a joint venture in peace and reconciliation studies between the two institutions.
CTS President Matthew Myer Boulton (left) and Butler President James M. Danko announce the creation of the Desmond Tutu Center.
The Rev. Allan Aubrey Boesak, a longtime friend and colleague of Tutu will lead the program, holding the Desmond Tutu Chair for Peace, Global Justice, and Reconciliation Studies.
The Rev. Allan Boesak is looking forward to his future at the helm of the Indy's Desmond Tutu Center.
Boesak said that he was delighted that "a friendship of over 30 years will be
solidified in something other than memories of yesterday; I look forward to building not just a future of our selves and the young people of South Africa but the young people Indianapolis, the young people of Indiana, the young people of the United States and the young people of the world.
He added, "We will try to create an atmosphere of excitement. ... We will try to bring people together from across the world in a conference that every year will seek to find ways in which the legacy of Tutu can find expression. Even for those with faith in nothing more than justice..."
Organizers estimate that more than 2,100 people attended the program.
Rev. Lewis Galloway, senior pastor at Second Presbyterian Church, Rabbi Sandy Sasso of Congregation Beth el Zedek, and Pastor David Hampton of Light of the World Christian Church. "We believe it is possible to let go of hate," Sasso said. "We pledge to engage in dialogue and ... deeds (to) encourage our faith community to partner with others .. (to) study (and) build bridges of understanding to break down racial, cultural, and religious barriers."
After having sold 7,000 season tickets, the Eleven has marked several other milestones this month, including the addition of two local players, one international player and an assistant coach to the roster, plus major partnerships with two military groups.