'Lost Boy' speech to launch Installation Week activities

October 31 2008

John Bul Dau, one of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan, will speak at Indiana State University to kick off a week of activities surrounding the installation of Daniel Bradley as the university's 11th president.

Dau's public presentation, "Journey to Leadership," is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 in Tilson Auditorium. A reception and book signing will follow in Heritage Lounge and Ballroom.

In advance of Dau's visit to Indiana State, Cunningham Memorial Library will show the documentary "God Grew Tired of Us" at 6 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 6) in the Events Area on the library's main floor. All events are free.

The film, narrated by Nicole Kidman, details the story of Dau and three other "Lost Boys" who were among 25,000 youth who fled the Sudanese civil war and traveled across the sub-Saharan desert seeking refuge from famine, disease, wild animals and attacks from rebel soldiers.

In 1987, when he was 13, Dau fled his village in southern Sudan when it came under attack by government troops. He walked hundreds of miles, surviving hunger, thirst and violence before reaching sanctuary with other refugees in Ethiopia.

Later driven from that country, Dau and the other "Lost Boys," who raised themselves to adulthood with little or no adult supervision, settled in camps in Kenya.

Nearly 4,000 later resettled in the United States during 2000 and 2001. Now living in Syracuse, N.Y., where he is raising a family, Dau has dedicated his life to building health clinics to help those remaining in Sudan.

The presentation by Dau on the Indiana State campus will kick off a week of events from Nov. 10-17 that showcases the university's commitment to community engagement.

Bradley, who came to ISU July 31 following seven years as president of Fairmont State University in Fairmont, W. Va., will be formally installed as president during ceremonies at 2 p.m. Nov. 13 in Hulman Center. Other events during the week include a food drive; the collection of personal hygiene items and/or cash for the Council on Domestic Abuse; a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; the second annual Sycamore Community Leadership Awards, recognizing high schools for community engagement; a Veterans Day oral history presentation; the Contemporary Music Festival; a Sycamore Preview Day for high school students and their parents; and the annual "Take Back the Night" rally and march to call attention to violence against women. Two-thirds of the cost of a $75 per plate installation banquet Nov. 12 will benefit United Way of the Wabash Valley.

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Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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John Bul Dau, one of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan, will speak at Indiana State University to kick off a week of activities surrounding the installation of Daniel Bradley as the university's 11th president.

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