For Immediate Release

Contact:Deborah Gilleran
732.987.2266
gillerand@georgian.edu

War Correspondent Dith Pran to Speak at Georgian Court

Lakewood, N.J., Mar. 13, 2007—From surviving a Cambodian labor camp to having his life immortalized in the Academy Award-winning film, The Killing Fields (1984), few people have had more dramatic turnarounds in their lives than Dith Pran. The New York Times photojournalist will appear at Georgian Court University to relay his experiences on Tuesday, April 10, in the historic Casino building on GCU’s Lakewood campus at 6:30 p.m.

When the Khmer Rouge, a group of Cambodian Communists, began a large-scale insurgency against their government in 1970, they quickly gained control over more than two-thirds of the country. By 1975, when they overtook the government, the group was 30,000 strong, and is estimated to be responsible for more than 2 million Cambodian deaths through starvation, torture, or execution.

Mr. Pran was a Cambodian native and war correspondent during the insurgency, working with fellow war correspondent Sydney Schanberg from The New York Times. Both were arrested and sentenced to execution. Mr. Pran was exiled to the “killing fields,” forced labor camps in the Cambodian countryside, where he was starved and tortured for four years until, in 1979, he escaped to Thailand. He lost more than 50 relatives, including his father, three brothers, one sister and their families, in the holocaust.

Mr. Schanberg, who was released from Cambodian imprisonment, received the Pulitzer Prize in 1976, which he accepted on behalf of Mr. Pran and himself. Mr. Pran’s life was depicted in the 1984 film The Killing Fields. He was appointed to the post of Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations in 1985 and received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1998. Tirelessly working to educate the world and ensure that the Cambodian genocide is not forgotten or repeated, he founded The Dith Pran Holocaust Awareness Project and compiled the stories of victims in Children of Cambodia’s Killing Fields: Memoirs of Survivors (1997).

Admission is $5 per person in advance, $15 per person at door, and free to the GCU community with identification. Reservations are required. For more information and reservations, please contact the Office of Conferences and Special Events at 732.987.2263 or specialevents@georgian.edu.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge and at Coastal Communiversity in Wall and Cumberland County College in Vineland.

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