Mount Union Challenge Provides Unique Community Opportunity to Build a School

March 30, 2010

It requires approximately $30,000 to build one school in the rural areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Jim Griffith, president and chief executive officer of The Timken Company and a member of the Mount Union Board of Trustees, and his wife Pam agreed on Tuesday evening to commit half of this needed funding if those attending the Schooler Lecture at Mount Union could successfully launch an effort to raise the remaining $15,000.

                                             Jim Griffith and Greg Mortenson (Not Pictured: Pam Griffith) 

The challenge was presented to nearly 3,900 individuals who learned from Greg Mortenson, this year’s Schooler Lecture speaker. Author, humanitarian, international peacemaker, former mountaineer and co-founder of two non-profit organizations, Mortenson has dedicated his life to promoting peace and community-based education and literacy programs, especially for girls in rural areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

His publication of Three Cups of Tea has graced the New York Times paperback nonfiction bestseller list for more than two years, half of the time at number one. The book received the Kiriyama Peace Book Award, and was Time magazine’s 2006 “Asia Book of the Year.” Three Cups of Tea has sold more than three million copies, has been published in 34 countries and is used in more than 90 colleges and universities, including Mount Union’s LS 100 2009 summer reading assignment. It was also this year’s One Book One Community selection for the city of Alliance. It also has been adapted into a young reader’s version and a children’s picture book.

Donations were collected at the Schooler Lecture and contributions made through Tuesday, April 6 will be attributed to the Mount Union challenge. Those interested in making a contribution may contact the Office of Public Affairs and Marketing at (330) 823-6063.  Checks may also be made payable to Central Asia Institute referencing Mount Union – March 23, 2010 in the memo line. Donations can be sent to Central Asia Institute, P.O. Box 7209, Bozeman, MT 59771-7209 or to Mount Union College at 1972 Clark Avenue, Alliance, OH 44601.

For more information about Mortenson and his efforts, visit


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