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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Feb. 24, 2009

'Lost boy' from Sudan war to deliver Distinguished Lecture

John Bul Dau

John Bul Dau

John Bul Dau, the final guest scheduled for this spring's Distinguished Lecture Series sponsored by the Office of Campus Activities, will speak at 8 p.m. Monday, March 16, in the Performing Arts Center on the Northwest campus. All Distinguished Lecture events are free and open to the public.

Featured in Christopher Quinn's documentary, "God Grew Tired of Us," Dau has experienced trials and hardships that most Americans would find difficult to imagine.

Born into the Dinka tribe in war-torn Sudan, Dau's life changed forever in 1987, when his village, Duk Payuel in Duk County, Jonglei, was attacked by government troops involved in the Second Sudanese Civil War, a campaign waged by the Muslim-controlled government in northern Sudan against non-Muslims in southern Sudan.

Dau was among an estimated 27,000 "lost boys" rendered homeless by the conflict, and the violence scattered his family. He was forced to walk to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya while facing starvation, disease and violence before humanitarian efforts brought him to the United States.

While living in the Kenyan Kakuma refugee camp, he attended school for the first time, and, in 2001, he was one of 3,800 young Sudanese refugees resettled in the United States and one of 140 brought to Syracuse, New York.

Working 60 hours a week as a security guard, he completed his associate's degree at Onondaga Community College and started a bachelor's degree program in policy studies at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship. Dau was ultimately able to bring his sister and mother to the United States and is now the married father of two children.

While continuing his studies at Syracuse, has helped raise thousands of dollars in relief funds for his native country in the hope that Sudan will "become a place where people are welcome and hope is restored."


For more information about the Distinguished Lecture Series and other programs sponsored by the Office of Campus Activities, go to or call Angel McAdams Prescott, director of campus activities, at 660.562.1226 (ext. 1226 on campus).

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468