SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, will be in San Diego in April for talks at the area's three major universities on ethics and compassion, school officials announced Thursday.

San Diego State University, UC San Diego and the University of San Diego will host a symposium called "Compassion Without Borders" in conjunction with the visit.

"This will be a historic event for San Diego," said the event chairman, Lama Tenzin Dhonden. "This event will bring together people of different faiths, secularists and non-secularists, scientists, scholars and artists to celebrate our shared values."

The Dalai Lama will be given the University of San Diego Medal of Peace during his visit.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso is considered the symbol of hope for a free Tibet, currently occupied by China, which considers the region to be a province. The 76-year-old resident of Dharamsala, in northern India, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

The events include:

- an April 18 panel discussion at UCSD on the global impact of climate change

- an April 18 program at USD on cultivating peace and justice

- an April 19 talk at SDSU on upholding universal ethics and compassing in challenging times

Tickets for the privately funded events will go on sale Feb. 22 at