International Humanitarian Amma to Receive Honorary Degree at UB

Public is invited to view live broadcast of ceremony from overflow venues on North Campus

Release Date: May 18, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, chancellor of India's Amrita University, will receive a State University of New York Doctor of Humane Letters degree at a conferral ceremony to be held at 2 p.m. May 25 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall on the University at Buffalo North Campus.

A distinguished and beloved humanitarian and spiritual leader, she is known throughout the world as "Amma" and internationally regarded for her tireless efforts on behalf of global peace, her commitment to education and the far-reaching impact of her charitable organizations in relieving poverty and human suffering in India and around the world.

Due to exceptionally high demand, tickets to the invitation-only event are not available to the general public. However, the public is invited to attend a live broadcast of the conferral ceremony that will air in overflow venues in the Center for the Arts and the Student Union, also on UB's North Campus. Individuals interested in seeing the honorary degree ceremony in one of the overflow sites are encouraged to go to, where they can RSVP their plans to attend and sign up to be put on a wait list for tickets to the ceremony should they become available.

Amma is the founder and chancellor of Amrita University, a leading private university in India, and played a key role in encouraging and supporting the strong strategic partnership between Amrita University and UB. Since 2006 UB and Amrita University have partnered on collaborative activities that include a dual-master's degree programs in management and computer science. Additional programs in medicine and social work are in development.

The SUNY Honorary Degree recognizes Amma's commitment to expanding educational opportunities and international cooperation, as well as her extraordinary humanitarian service, which includes founding Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM), a humanitarian organization that oversees her charitable activities in India and other nations, and relief efforts she spearheaded for victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

"Amma has been a leader in expanding educational opportunity in India, particularly through the establishment of Amrita University, which in its first 15 years has become one of the most distinguished private universities in India," said Stephen Dunnett, UB professor and provost for international education. "She also is a strong proponent of Amrita's expanding cooperation with U.S. institutions of higher education and she has placed particular emphasis on the connection to UB, which has borne fruit in a number of ways."

Note to media: Members of media who wish to cover the conferral ceremony and attend a press availability for Amma to be held after the ceremony should contact UB's Christine Vidal at 716-645-4607.

Media Contact Information

Christine Vidal
Director of News Content
Community Engagement, International Education
Tel: 716-645-4607