Students and faculty members at Kansas University renewed their commitment to promoting world peace Wednesday when they rededicated a peace pole near Haworth Hall.
The original KU peace pole, donated by The World Peace Prayer Society of Japan, was dedicated in the same spot in May 2006. Less than a year later, the pole was destroyed through what some donors believe to be vandalism.
One of the donors of the new pole said the original pole was important to promoting world peace and had to be restored.
“To lose that goodwill and all the emotion that went into putting that pole in place initially would be a sad thing, so we all felt like the most important thing that we could do, all of us that came together, was to get that pole back in the ground exactly the way it was,” said Leslie Green Renzelman, a local donor.
The unveiling of the pole took place during International Education Week on campus.
Faculty members, student members of the International Students Association, and members of Phi Beta Delta Honor Society of International Studies spoke about how the pole symbolized their hopes for peace.
Junior and International Students Association President Yaser AlZayer of Saudi Arabia believes the pole is sending out a message for people to have a “more peaceful tomorrow.”
For AlZayer, the pole solidifies his “commitment to promote world peace, especially at this time (when) there are so many conflicts around the world,” he said.
The new KU peace pole is a replica of the one that was destroyed. The phrase “May Peace Prevail on Earth” is written in eight languages on its sides. The languages were chosen by the International Students Association executive board that dedicated the original pole.
The replica was donated by KU and local donors including Renzelman, Diana B. Carlin and Elizabeth Schultz with assistance from the KU Student Senate.
This peace pole is one of more than 200,000 that have been dedicated around the world, Renzelman said.