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.
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.
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.
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.