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Eboo Patel to deliver 2014 Baccalaureate address - May 23

The founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core makes a return visit to Elon University this spring with words of wisdom for graduating seniors and their parents during the Commencement week program.

Eboo Patel

Eboo Patel – an author, journalist and founder of the Interfaith Youth Core – will deliver Elon University's 2014 Baccalaureate address on May 23 at 3 p.m. in Alumni Gym.

The Friday afternoon program is free and open to all students and families. No tickets are required. Robes do not need to be worn at the event.

The American Muslim of Indian heritage is the visionary behind IFYC, the Chicago-based organization building an interfaith movement on college campuses. He has spoken at TED conferences, the Clinton Global Initiative and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, as well as on college and university campuses across the country.

Patel was among the distinguished panelists who took part in Elon’s 2011 Spring Convocation, which focused on major challenges facing American society, and he served as one of six spiritual leaders at a 2013 Spring Convocation focused on ways humans can find common ground in a diverse world.

Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Patel is a regular contributor to the Washington Post, USA Today, Huffington Post, NPR and CNN. He served on President Barack Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship.

Patel serves on the Religious Advisory Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, on the Board of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, on the National Committee of the Aga Khan Foundation USA, and on the Department of Homeland Security’s Faith-based Advisory Council.

Patel was named by Islamica Magazine as one of 10 young Muslim visionaries shaping Islam in America and was chosen by Harvard’s Kennedy School Review as one of five future policy leaders to watch. Both he and IFYC were honored with the Roosevelt Institute’s Freedom of Worship Medal in 2009, and Patel was more recently awarded the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, an award given to an individual to enhance awareness of the crucial role of religious dialogue in the pursuit of peace.

Today, Patel lives in Chicago with his wife, Shehnaz Mansuri, and their two sons.

Elon’s 124th Commencement exercises are scheduled for 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, May 24, Under the Oaks in front of West Residence Hall on the Elon campus.


Eric Townsend,
5/20/2014 10:00 AM