Elizabeth Smart to speak at UND

Next week all of Grand Forks will have the opportunity to hear American activist Elizabeth Smart share what it was like to be abducted for nine months when she was 14 years old. Smart is coming to UND as a speaker for the 2015 Delta Gamma Foundation/Everson Family Lectureship in Values and Ethics, and will be taking the stage at 7 p.m. Monday in the Chester Fritz Auditorium.

Co-chair of the Lectureship Planning committee Sonja Collin says she is excited to meet Smart and thinks she will be received well based on the positive response the committee has seen so far.

“We are very excited to host Elizabeth and allow her to tell her story,” Collin said. “We are thrilled that community members and students on campus are interested in the event.”

Smart, now 27, was kidnapped when she was 14 years old and rescued nine months later. She has done a great deal of activist work through The Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which is geared towards preventing crimes against children. Smart has given several talks about her own personal experience in order to spread awareness, and although she isn’t a member of Delta Gamma herself, she was heard about because of her involvement at another Delta Gamma event, which she was a speaker at.

The UND event, which was initially scheduled to take place in late February but was rescheduled for Monday, is free and open to the public. Smart will also be available Monday at 1 pm for a book signing at Fergusen Books and Media and will also do signings after her presentation Monday evening.

“We hope that the students and other audience members attending the event walk away inspired by Elizabeth’s story,” she said. “Considering the event is a Lectureship series on values and ethics, we also hope that there is a greater appreciation and understanding of the role that values and ethics have in overcoming life challenges.”

Marie Monson is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].