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03/18/2014

Campus Will Celebrate Peace Pole Dedication During Inauguration Week

Quick Facts

 The ceremony will be Monday, March 24, at 5 p.m. in Hardin Garden.
 For more information on the Peace Pole celebration, please contact Williams at 803/323-4680 or e-mail williamsv@winthrop.edu.

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Ginger Williams
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Winthrop University will hold a peace celebration on Monday, March 24, at 5 p.m. in Hardin Garden to commemorate the installation of the university’s first Peace Pole.

Peace Poles are the most recognized international peace symbol in the world, and there are more than 200,000 of them in almost every country throughout the world, according to Ginger Williams, associate professor of history and director of the Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution Studies program.

The Peace Pole was originally created in Japan by Masahisa Goi who dedicated his life to spreading the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” Goi was greatly affected by the destruction of World War II and the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  His desire to create world peace began with a message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” that came to him during meditation and prayer. In the 1950s Peace Poles emerged throughout the world inscribed with Goi’s peace message.

“We are proud to be able to dedicate a Peace Pole to the Winthrop University campus,” said Williams.  “Our Peace Pole will stand six feet high and will have the message ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth’ inscribed in six different languages.”

Winthrop’s Peace Pole will be dedicated to the memory of Father David Valtierra, a former campus Catholic minister for more than 30 years and peace activist. Father Valtierra became involved with Winthrop’s Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution Studies program immediately after it was founded in 2006 and taught in the program until his death in May 2010. “This Peace Pole will stand on Winthrop’s campus for years to come so that people can contemplate what peace means to them and remember Father David,” added Williams.

Also following his death the Father David Valtierra Peace Studies Scholarship was established to honor his legacy and to provide financial support to students who desire to work for peace, justice, and/or conflict resolution in the local community or in the global context. The scholarship has been given in his memory since 2011. 

The Peace Pole celebration is part of a week-long schedule of events marking the Inauguration of President Jamie Comstock as the university’s 10th president.

For more information on the Peace Pole celebration, please contact Williams at 803/323-4680 or e-mail williamsv@winthrop.edu.

About Winthrop and the Inauguration of 10th President Jayne Marie Comstock:

The March 24-29 Inauguration of Jayne Marie (Jamie) Comstock as Winthrop’s 10th president signals a new era in the history of this top-ranked regional public comprehensive university. Comstock has charted a bold course for Winthrop’s future, redefining public higher education by prioritizing both quality and access in a single institution. Serving more than 6,000 students, Winthrop blends liberal arts, professional programs, global understanding, and civic engagement in a diverse community of learners. Students leave Winthrop prepared for successful careers, engaged in a democratic society, responsive to local and global concerns, and grounded in values that give meaning to their lives. Comstock’s vision for Winthrop will ensure that all students – regardless of demographic category or life experience – have access to an exceptional public higher education.

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