CBS’s Lara Logan to headline Spring Convocation

Tickets are now available to see the "60 Minutes" correspondent lead a multi-faith conversation with distinguished guests on finding common ground in a diverse world.


Award-winning “60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan will moderate a special panel discussion focused on issues of faith during Elon University’s Spring Convocation on April 30. The convocation is the headline event in a day of activities that will mark the dedication of the new Numen Lumen Pavilion, a multi-faith center for prayer, reflection and interfaith dialogue in Elon’s Academic Village.

The convocation, titled “Sacred Space: The Promise for Peace and Understanding in Our World – A Multi-Faith Conversation,” includes six distinguished panelists who have earned international reputations as scholars, leaders and educators in their respective faith communities.

Spring Convocation will be held April 30 at 3:30 p.m. in Alumni Gym in the Koury Athletic Center. Tickets are $12 each or free with an Elon ID. Box Office hours in the Center for the Arts are 12:30 – 5 p.m., Monday-Friday; call 336.278.5610 for more information on tickets.


Tickets are also available for students, faculty and staff to pick up at the following locations:

Numen Lumen Pavilion (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

Dean’s Office in the Koury Business Center (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Vice President for Student Life Office in Alamance 109 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Moseley Front Desk (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight; Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to midnight)

Elon Law Reception Desk (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

The convocation will follow shortly after the formal dedication of the Numen Lumen Pavilion, which houses the Vera Richardson Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and the Elon Center for the Study of Religion, Culture and Society.

The six panelists who will participate in the convocation include the following:

Arjia Rinpoche, the former abbot of Kumbum Monastery, one of the six great centers of Buddhism in Tibet, and the only Tibetan high lama of Mongolian descent. Because of the strained political climate and culture in Tibet, and refusing to compromise his spiritual beliefs and practices, he went into exile in 1998. He now lives in the United States where he’s a devoted scholar and teacher. He established the Tibetan Center for Compassion and Wisdom to advance the understanding of Tibetan Buddhism in the West.

The Right Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, elected 11th bishop of North Carolina’s Episcopal Church in 2000. In his three parish ministries in North Carolina, Ohio and Maryland, Curry has extensive involvement in Crisis Control Ministry and has founded ecumenical summer day camps for children, preaching missions, the Absalom Jones Initiative and educational centers. In addition, he has brokered millions of dollars of investment in inner-city neighborhoods.

Greg M. Epstein, a secular humanist and the humanist chaplain at Harvard University. In 2005 the New York Times bestselling author received ordination as a humanist rabbi from the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism. In his seven years at Harvard, he launched a range of new programs and initiatives, making humanist chaplaincy a topic of national discussion. He currently directs the Humanist Community Project, a laboratory for the development of multicultural, multigenerational humanist communities locally and nationwide.

Sharon M.K. Kugler, a Roman Catholic and the university chaplain at Yale University. She is the first woman and the first Catholic appointed to the Yale chaplaincy and has received national recognition for cultivating a ministry that defines itself by serving diverse cultural and religious traditions. Kugler has two decades of experience in higher education, interfaith collaboration, and pastoral and social ministry. Her master’s thesis on building a religiously plural community was used by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Chief of Chaplains as a training tool for new chaplains in the military.

Eboo Patel, an American Muslim of Indian heritage who is an author, journalist and founder and president of the Interfaith Youth Core. The visionary behind a youth organization that promotes religious pluralism, Patel 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 Convocation for Honors, which focused on major challenges facing American society.

Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Named the most influential rabbi in America by Newsweek magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, Wolpe is a popular media contributor on Jewish issues. He previously taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, Hunter College and UCLA.

Guided by Lara Logan, the panelists will discuss the benefits and challenges of interfaith work, the dynamics between religious and nonreligious populations, and how the university can build on existing efforts to foster productive interfaith outcomes.

Now in her eighth season contributing to “60 Minutes,” Logan also serves as co-host of the network’s special broadcast “Person to Person.”

Born in Durban, South Africa, Logan started her career in broadcast journalism in Africa as a senior producer for Reuters Television in 1992. Since that time, she has earned several honors for her news coverage, including the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for a report from the battlefield in Afghanistan as well as the RTDNA/Edward R. Murrow Award for a five-segment series about the U.S. Marines on patrol.

Logan’s reports were an integral part of CBS News’ coverage of the war in Iraq. She was the only journalist from an American network in Baghdad when the U.S. military invaded the city, reporting live from Firdos Square as the statue of Saddam fell. She broke the story of abuse of special needs Iraqi orphans on CBS Evening News in June 2007. During that same year, she reported from Pakistan on the death of Benazir Bhutto and its aftermath.

Her work in war zones has put her in harm’s way on more than one occasion. While reporting a “60 Minutes II” story about the war near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in 2005, the military vehicle she was riding in hit a double-tank mine. The explosion seriously wounded two soldiers. She escaped with minor injuries.

In February 2011, Logan was sexually assaulted and beaten by a mob in Tahrir Square while reporting a story for “60 Minutes” on the Egyptian Revolution. She broke her silence about the incident on “60 Minutes” to draw attention to the plight of women, particularly female journalists covering war zones.

Logan received an Emmy Award, an Overseas Press Club Award and a Murrow Award for her 2006 report on American troops under fire in Ramadi, Iraq, a piece she and her producer completed while embedded with a U.S. military unit. She has received five American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Awards, the David Bloom Award from the Radio & Television Correspondents Association for excellence in enterprise reporting, and the Association of International Broadcaster’s Best International News Story Award for her report on the Taliban.

Logan graduated from the University of Natal in Durban in 1992 with a degree in commerce. She also holds a diploma in French language, culture and history from the Universite de L’Alliance Francaise in Paris. In addition to French, Logan speaks Afrikaans and basic Portuguese.

Elon’s Spring Convocation serves as an annual event to recognize Dean’s List and President’s List students, the faculty, the upcoming graduating class and members of the Elon Society, the premier annual giving group at Elon.