Thich Nhat Hanh ‘63—Zen Buddhist Monk, Teacher, Author and Peace Activist—Will Receive Union Medal on September 6th

For Immediate Release
New York City, NY – Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (Union) will award Thich Nhat Hanh—internationally celebrated Zen Buddhist monk, dharma teacher, scholar, author, and peace activist—with the Union Medal. Known affectionately as ‘Thay’ (teacher), Thich Nhat Hanh coined the term Engaged Buddhism and is globally recognized as one of the movement’s preeminent leaders. Thay’s powerful teachings and bestselling writings integrate ancient Buddhist wisdom and practices with contemporary issues and skillfully bridge Eastern and Western spirituality.
“Thay has touched deep chords among people of many different backgrounds, faiths, and experiences,” said Union President, Rev. Dr. Serene Jones. “We are so proud to recognize his remarkable global endeavors.”
The September 6th Union Medal ceremony will be held during Union’s annual convocation service, which welcomes new students and faculty and marks the official start of the school year. Sister Chan Duc, an emissary from Plum Village, the renowned monastery Thay founded in southwest France, will accept the Union Medal on his behalf. Both the Union Medal ceremony and the convocation service will be live-streamed.
Thay earned the joint Master of Arts in Religion from Union and Columbia University in 1963. Just a few years later, he famously formed a friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was instrumental in encouraging King to speak out against the war. In 1967, King reached out to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, writing: “I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize than this gentle Buddhist monk.”
During his decades

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