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21 September 2007

Edna V. Baehre, HACC president, to receive prestigious peace award
Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace exhibition opens Oct. 2

Edna V. Baehre, Ph.D., president of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, will be honored Oct. 1 for her efforts to ensure opportunity, diversity and equality in education and leadership for all in the HACC community.

Baehre will receive the prestigious “Ghandi, King, Ikeda Award” created to celebrate the lives and work of three men from different cultures and countries whose common path of dedication to peace has been recognized internationally. Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., Ph.D., Morehouse College curator and founder of the Gandhi Institute for Reconciliation, will travel from Atlanta to present the award during the opening ceremony of the international Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace exhibition at HACC through Oct. 2-12.

“I am delighted to accept this honor on behalf of HACC,” Baehre said, adding the college is also honored to host the international exhibit at the Harrisburg Campus.

Previous recipients of the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Award include Rosa Parks, the civil rights pioneer; Andrew Young, civil rights leader and associate of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Dolores Huerta, farm workers rights activist and co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America with Cesar Chavez.

On Oct. 16, Baehre also will be among community leaders to receive the inaugural Compass Award presented by the Pennsylvania Immigrant & Refugee Women’s Network. The award honors women whose vision, leadership and actions exemplify the network’s mission of supporting immigrant and refugee women and children while promoting understanding, respect and friendship among diverse ethnic and cultural groups.

Baehre, who has been the chief executive officer at HACC since 1997, has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for her efforts to promote women leadership, community service and economic development. She is on numerous education and community boards and holds several gubernatorial appointments, including the Pennsylvania State Workforce Investment Board. She is a director of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the National Institute for Leadership Development for Women in Community Colleges. In 2004, she joined President George W. Bush as a community panel member on Jobs for the 21st Century.

Baehre’s recent honors include Communicator of the Year (2005) from the Harrisburg Chapter, International Association of Business Communicators; Community Leader Award (2006) from the Asian-Indian American Society of Central Pennsylvania; Athena Award (2006) and Catalyst Award (2004) from Harrisburg Regional Chamber and Capitol Region Economic Development Corporation; the Heritage Award (2004) from the Urban Connection of the Capitol Region, and the Carolyn Desjardins President of the Year Award (2000) from the American Association of Women in Community Colleges.

Before coming to HACC, Baehre served in senior executive capacities at community colleges in Illinois and New York. Born in post-war West Germany, she is a 1971 graduate of Paedagogische Hochschule, Heidelberg, and holds master’s and doctorate degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

HACC is a multi-campus college that serves a 10-county region and has a $132 million operating budget. HACC’s full- and part-time staff of about 1,600 serves more than 18,000 credit students and 35,000 noncredit and workforce development students. For more information, use the Website link below.

Fast Facts:

Who: Edna V. Baehre, Ph.D., president of HACC
What: Ceremony to present Baehre with the “Ghandi, King, Ikeda Award.”
Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., Ph. D., Morehouse College (Atlanta) curator and founder of the Gandhi Institute for Reconciliation, will present the award during the opening ceremony of the international Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace exhibition hosted by HACC.
When: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 1 during the opening reception for the exhibition
Where: Cooper Student Center on the Harrisburg Campus

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About the exhibit: Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace

An international exhibition, Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Peace opens to the public at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in the Cooper Student Center of HACC’s Harrisburg Campus. The free exhibit runs through Oct. 12.

The display features photographs, quotations and historical information about the three human rights leaders. It is sponsored by HACC’s Office of Multicultural Affairs/International Education and the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College. Co-sponsors are Soka Gakkai International-USA, Gandhi-King Nonviolence Coalition, and America’s Promise of Greater Harrisburg.

“I conceptualized (the exhibition) with the hope that by examining the lives of these great individuals, viewers would be inspired to create value in the context of their own daily lives through the application of the ideals for peace and non-violence,” said Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., Ph.D., Morehouse College curator and founder of the Gandhi Institute for Reconciliation in Atlanta.

Robert William, HACC’s Director of Multicultural Affairs/International Education, said, “We live in a day and age where violence has stolen our loved ones from our midst. Nations continue to rise up against nations while the pursuit of peace for mankind continues to escape our grasp. It is easy to lose hope in the midst of such hopelessness but we are encouraged when we are reminded of leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Daisaku Ikeda.”

Gandhi’s civil disobedience and nonviolent demonstrations won greater freedom and ultimately independence for 400 million citizens of India in August 1947 after three centuries of British Rule. He was assassinated six months later on the way to evening prayers.

King’s commitment to peace and justice inspired the movement for civil and human rights, giving voice to the hopes and dreams of the poor and dispossessed throughout the world. His “I have a dream” speech in 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement. King was assassinated in April 1968.

Ikeda’s work as a leading Buddhist philosopher, author, poet and educator has led to the non-violent democratization of Japan’s feudalistic social structures and an international grassroots initiative of intercultural and interfaith dialogue and cooperation for global peace. He is president of Soka Gakkai International, dedicated to the realization of a humane society.

More than one million viewers in 30 countries on six continents have seen this exhibit since its inception in 2001. Among its previous international venues include the National Parliament of New Zealand, MuseumAfrica in Johannesburg, South Africa, Berlin City Hall in Germany, Sydney University in New South Wales, Australia, and Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, U.K. Inside the U.S., more than 40 colleges have hosted the display including Stanford, Yale, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, Princeton, UC Berkeley and Chatham College in Pittsburgh.

If you go:

Who: HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College
What: An international peace exhibit, Gandhi, King, Ikeda: A Legacy of Building Peace
When: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2-12
Where: Cooper Student Center on the Harrisburg Campus
More info: The public is invited to view the free exhibit, which delivers a striking message about individual leadership and the difference one person can make in promoting peace through non-violent action. The display features photographs, quotations and historical information about three human rights leaders. A map of HACC’s Harrisburg campus is available by using the Website link below.

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