October 07, 2015
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet was chosen to receive the 2015 Liberty Medal in a special ceremony on Oct. 26.
However, last month, his office announced the cancellation of the entire U.S. trip due to health issues. The Dalai Lama was also supposed to appear at a teaching session at La Salle University this month.
The National Constitution Center has chosen to go ahead with the ceremony, despite the 80-year-old spiritual leader's absence.
The Center announced Wednesday that a limited number of free, general admission tickets to the 2015 Liberty Medal ceremony will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on Friday.
While the Dalai Lama is unable to attend, Philly-born actor and philanthropist Richard Gere will participate in the presentation. Dr. Thupten Jinpa, the principal English translator to the Dalai Lama, and Dr. Richie Davidson, founder and chair of the Mind and Life Institute, will accept the award on his behalf.
Tickets will be available online beginning 10 a.m. Friday. The ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the National Constitution Center.