Lipscomb University has named Terry Waite, a former Hezbollah hostage, as the first scholar-in-residence at the university’s Institute for Conflict Management.
The one-year residency begins in September, and Waite will be a featured speaker at a Vermont retreat offered by the institute as well as a spring 2014 seminar in Nashville. He is also expected to provide writings and student support for the university.
“Dr. Waite will add a new dimension to the work of the institute,” said Steve Joiner, managing director of the institute. “With his experience as a negotiator and a world-renowned agent of peace, he is a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit.”
Waite successfully negotiated the release of hostages in Iran and Libya in the 1980s. He was taken hostage by the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah in 1987 while he was negotiating the release of prisoners in Beirut.
He was released in 1991 after more than four years of solitary confinement.
“Much of my life has been spent working as a negotiator in conflict situations throughout the world,” Waite said, “and during my time [at Lipscomb] I will examine some of these situations with students. I shall discuss extreme situations where lives have been at stake. I shall do so because it is from such situations that lessons may be learned that are applicable to so called ‘normal’ life.”
Waite is currently the president of two nonprofit organizations and has authored several books.