Highly Anticipated Visit From His Holiness the Dalai Lama Canceled

Katherine Hazen '18News Editor

A statement released via email to the entire school on Sept. 25, informed students that His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is 80 years old, canceled his upcoming visit to the United States due to the results of a routine medical evaluation.

The 14th Dalai Lama’s visit, which included stops at Amherst College, Smith College and UMass Amherst, was scheduled for next month. Tickets for His Holiness’s highly anticipated address at Smith, titled “Secular Ethics: Educating for Care and Compassion” sold out within a matter of minutes when ticket requests opened Sept. 16.

Nancy Cai ’17, a Buddhist studies concentrator, said after hearing of the cancellation, “I had been looking forward to seeing His Holiness the Dalai Lama since last spring when we were notified of his trip. However, I understand that he is still human and health issues will still arise. I wish him the best and hope to meet him in the future.” Many other students expressed similar sentiments as the news quickly circulated throughout campus.

The event, scheduled for Oct. 23 in the Indoor Track and Tennis Facility, was heavily advertised as part of Parents’ Weekend, so it remains unseen how Smith plans to fill that gap for visiting families. There was such a large demand to see His Holiness that the College created alternative viewing options: a simulcast in Sweeney Concert Hall and John M. Greene Hall and a livestream on the Smith website.

His visit to the United States included a three-day visit in the Pioneer Valley, organized by Hadley’s Mind and Life Institute, in addition to stops in Boulder, Philadelphia and Salt Lake City. For now, the Dalai Lama will go back to Dharamsala for rest.