Religious freedom advocate to speak at Walla Walla University commencement


COLLEGE PLACE — Robert A. Seiple, the nation’s first ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, will present Walla Walla University’s Class of 2013 commencement address at Sunday’s ceremony.

Seiple’s career exemplifies a life of service and humanitarian leadership, including founding the Institute for Global Engagement. The organization promotes sustainable environments for religious freedom worldwide through local partnerships.

Seiple was inspired to create the organization after his experiences at the State Department, where he spent two years under the Clinton Administration as the first U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, according to information provided by WWU.

He also spent 11 years as the president of World Vision, the Christian organization that assists families in nearly 100 countries through disaster relief, poverty and hunger programs.

Earlier in his career, Seiple served as president of Eastern College and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

During the Vietnam War, Seiple was a decorated Marine aviator. He served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, flying 300 combat missions in Vietnam and receiving numerous decorations for valor, including the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Seiple has authored several books, including “A Missing Peace,” “Ambassadors of Hope: How Christians can Respond to the World’s Toughest Problems,” and, with Dennis R. Hoover, co-editor of “Religion and Security: The New Nexus in International Relations.”

Sunday’s commencement will begin at 8:30 a.m. at WWU’s Centennial Green. It caps a weekend of celebration activities.

More graduation information is also available at


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