Environmental Activist Julia Butterfly Hill to Speak at WPI

The Peace Abbey to Present Ms. Hill with "Courage of Conscience Award"

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. - October 24, 2002 - Can one person make a difference? To those involved with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) student organization The Power of One, the answer is a resounding YES. To prove it, they are bringing one of their heroes, environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill, to speak to the community on Thursday, October 31, 2002, at 7:00 p.m. in Odeum at WPI's Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Ms. Hill has dedicated her life to helping all aspects of the environment. Most notably, for a two-year period of her life she lived in a redwood tree in an effort to save the tree, the redwoods in general and to make a statement about life. She is the founder of the Circle of Life Foundation, which activates people through education, inspiration and connection to live in a way that honors the diversity and interdependence of all life.

After her speech, Ms. Hill will be honored by The Peace Abbey, an institution dedicated to the study and practice of nonviolence and pacifism, with its Courage of Conscience Award. The award is given to recognize those who promote the causes of peace and justice, nonviolence and love. It has been bestowed on individuals and groups from around the world, including the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks and Mother Teresa.

"Julia is at the essence of The Power of One's message that anyone can make a difference," says Thomas J. Balistrieri, director of student development and counseling at WPI. "Julia is a courageous woman, a marvelous role model and is someone who walks her talk."

The Power of One is an alliance of concerned student groups at WPI seeking to increase awareness of the environment on campus and beyond, as well as the importance of individual acts. Ms. Hill's appearance at WPI precedes a week-long program of events in November organized by The Power of One in honor of the university's Environmental Awareness Week. During the week of November 18, the organization is bringing several other prominent speakers to campus, including author Thom Hartmann, conservation biologist and educator Dan Perlman, and oceanographer Iain Kerr. The week's events will be capped off with the 4th Annual Native American Dance Social on Saturday, November 23, from 12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m. For more information about The Power of One and its Environmental Awareness Week events, e-mail nseifert@wpi.edu or call 508-831-5540.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society.

WPI's innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives.

The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support master's and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Located in the heart of the region's biotechnology and high-technology sectors, WPI has built research programs – including the largest industry/university alliance in North America &150; that have won it worldwide recognition.