La Sierra to honor the legacy of noted author, humanitarian Pearl S. Buck

Humanitarian, activist, author, Pulitzer and Nobel laureate Pearl S. Buck
Humanitarian, activist, author, Pulitzer and Nobel laureate Pearl S. Buck

October 23, 2009

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – ( ) Humanitarian, activist, author, Pulitzer and Nobel laureate Pearl S. Buck will be inducted into La Sierra University’s “Path of the Just” in activities slated for Sat., Oct. 31, 2009.

Buck’s book, “The Good Earth,” published in 1931 and followed by scores of other volumes, utilized the combination of biblical prose and the Chinese narrative saga earning her both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for literature. Buck was raised in China by Protestant missionary parents and worked as both a missionary and a professor at China’s Nanking University. Buck’s published works and her founding of orphanages for American-Asian children throughout Asia have earned her honors in activist, literary, and humanitarian circles.

The day’s events at the La Sierra University Church will begin with student reports at 9:30 a.m. highlighting campus international humanitarian service projects. At 10:45 a.m. liturgy will draw on campus musical ensembles, a processional including national flags representing the exceedingly diverse countries represented in the university’s student body, and a homily by Dr. John Jones. Jones is a missionary and educator with experience in Asia over two decades. Jones teaches New Testament studies and world religions at La Sierra University.

The church is located at 4937 Sierra Vista Ave. A campus map is at

The university’s “Path of the Just” honors individuals whose lives of altruistic service have fostered human rights, individual empowerment, or religious toleration. Granite boulders on the university’s campus mall honor such individuals as South African cleric and change agent Desmond Tutu, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, India missionary Mother Theresa, and Third Reich resister Dietrich Bonhoeffer. University representatives will unveil the commemorative, engraved boulder honoring Buck at 12:30 p.m. on the campus mall.

Charles Teel, Professor of Religion and Society and Director of the Stahl Center for World Service at the university spearheaded the Path of the Just concept. “When polio vaccine discoverer Jonas Salk died and merited but minutes of air time—followed by the death of a less-than-accomplished movie star days later who received abundant press coverage—the idea was planted to found a campus centerpiece that would model for students individuals whose lives fostered altruistic service,” noted Teel.

The Stahl Center has coordinated such campus activities as Global Village, a series of subsistence-level international habitats on the campus mall that attracted fully 20,000 visitors. Another Stahl Center initiative, Global Quilting, called for collecting 1,000 hand-made quilts for AIDS-stricken babies in Africa resulting in garnering 20,000 quilts created by quilting circles primarily in the United States, Australia, and the Caribbean. These blankets have been distributed by La Sierra University students to AIDS infants and other displaced children in such diverse locales as AIDS hospices in Kenya, obstetric wards in Bangkok women’s prisons, and orphanages on the banks of the Amazon River.

The Stahl Center also sponsors an annual Amazon and Andes study tour each March to Peru, following in the footsteps of missionaries, activists, and humanitarians Fernando and Ana Stahl for whom the Stahl Center is named. These tours include the Fernando Stahl school on the shores of Lake Titicaca and the Ana Stahl Clinic on the banks of the Amazon River, as well as visits to Lima, Cusco, and Machu Picchu. Teel’s research documents the manner in which these “missionaries, visionaries, and revolutionaries” are hailed by academics and activists alike on three continents for their holistic humanitarian endeavors in establishing chapels, clinics, orphanages, and the first co-educational and first indigenous school system in the Peruvian Andes. "The Stahls are lauded for their efforts in bringing a fenced-out indigenous population to the table," noted Teel.

For information on Stahl Center or the Stahl Center Museum of Culture, contact or 909.785.2041.


PR Contact: Larry Beckerbr> Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University
Riverside, California
951.785.2460 (voice)

  • Last update on  December 07, 2009