Dalai Lama Reschedules Visit to the U for June 21

dalai lama Emily Juchau

The Dalai Lama, who canceled his October visit to the U due to health concerns, is back on the schedule to speak to students this summer.

The Tibetan Buddhist leader, age 80, will talk about compassion and peace at the Huntsman Center on June 21. About one-third of the available tickets will be open for students to purchase on April 1 for $10 — faculty and staff for $20 — with a limit of two per person. Sales to the public start April 4 at utahtickets.com and by calling 801.581.8849.

The website hosting the ticket sales malfunctioned during the previously scheduled Dalai Lama event, freezing, blocking patrons from completing purchases and allowing some users to bypass those waiting on slow load times. Cheri Daily with the U’s Office for Global Engagement hopes it will be smoother now, as she’s worked to streamline a direct route to the ticket site instead of linking first to Global U.

She said the online traffic was “pretty insane” last time, with about 30,000 people trying to buy tickets each minute — the university ultimately sold (and later refunded) 9,959. She encourages people to register for an account with utahtickets.com before April so the process will be quicker.

The Dalai Lama fell ill at the end of September and received prostate treatment in Minnesota. Doctors suggested the religious leader cancel all upcoming appearances, including his Oct. 18 stint at the U, but he is set to resume in March.

“We’re delighted that his Holiness’s health has improved,” Daily said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our community.”

The religious leader, exiled from Tibet in 1959, seeks to preserve his culture and aid refugees. He spoke previously at the U in 2001.

The Dalai Lama’s speech in June will begin at 1:30 p.m., preceded by a cultural event with the Utah Tibetan Association, which co-sponsored the visit. Those unable to get tickets can watch a live stream at utah.edu/live, and anyone can send questions to www.global.utah.edu/dalailama.

c.tanner@dailyutahchronicle.com

@CourtneyLTanner