Elizabeth Smart addresses thousands at UND


Amy Halvorson

Document Type


Publication Date



Elizabeth Smart addresses thousands at UND

Elizabeth Smart, whose abduction as a teenager was one of the country’s most followed cases, shared her story before thousands of audience members Monday night at the Chester Fritz Auditorium on the University of North Dakota campus. Her address was part of the Delta Gamma Foundation/Everson Family Lectureship in Values and Ethics.

About Smart

Smart was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. The police safely returned Smart to her family on March 12, 2003, after being held prisoner for nine grueling months.

Through this traumatic experience Smart has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. Smart triumphantly testified before her captors and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which lead to convictions.

As the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, Smart has also helped promote the AMBER Alert program, the Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.

Smart’s abduction and recovery continues to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She emphasizes vigilance by ‘everyday’ people and the belief that hope always exists to find every missing child.

Her example is a daily demonstration that there is life after a tragic event. She attended Brigham Young University, studying music as a harp performance major, and married her husband, Matthew, in 2012.

She wrote her memoir, a New York Times best seller, My Story, with U.S. Congressman, Chris Stewart from Utah. A book signing will follow the lecture.

About the Lectureship

The UND Alpha Theta chapter of Delta Gamma established the Delta Gamma Foundation/Everson Family Lectureship in Values and Ethics in 2011.

The UND chapter is one of only 20 Delta Gamma collegiate chapters in the country to sponsor this lectureship. The lead gift to establish this lecture series was given by Jacque Geving Everson of Houston, a 1966 graduate of UND. Numerous other alumnae have contributed to the lectureship endowment, which is managed through the UND Alumni Association & Foundation.

Amy Halvorson University & Public Affairs student writer

This document is currently not available here.