President of Sierra Leone to speak at Notre Dame

Author: Julie Hail Flory

Ernest Bai Koroma, president of the Republic of Sierra Leone

The University of Notre Dame will welcome Ernest Bai Koroma, president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, to campus Sept. 27 (Tuesday) for a lecture titled “Faith, Tolerance and Progress.”

President Koroma will speak at 4 p.m. in the Decio Mainstage Theatre of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. A question-and-answer session and reception will follow the address. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and will be available beginning today (Sept. 23) by visiting or calling the performing arts center ticket office at 574-631-2800.

“Notre Dame is honored to welcome His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma to campus,” said Catherine Bolten, an assistant professor of anthropology and peace studies at Notre Dame who will serve as moderator for the discussion. “President Koroma leads a nation of quiet religious inclusiveness, and the University of Notre Dame will benefit enormously in our aim to promote tolerance and freedom throughout the world by strengthening our connections with Sierra Leone.”

The fourth president of Sierra Leone, Koroma came to power in 2007 in an election that was widely regarded as free and fair, and resulted in a peaceful transfer of power. Sierra Leone has a rich and vibrant history. Fourah Bay College, the first university in West Africa, was founded in Freetown in 1827. More recently, the country went from a state of civil war to providing troops for the African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur in less than eight years.

President Koroma’s visit to Notre Dame is sponsored by the Office of the President.