ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) The death of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai is being mourned in Kansas, where she attended college.
Maathai, a native of Kenya, died Sunday of cancer. The 71-year-old won the Nobel in 2004.
She founded the Green Belt Movement, which mobilized poor women to plant trees to give them more access to resources. She was arrested and beaten by Kenyan authorities for her activism.
Maathai was a 1964 graduate of at Mount St. Scholastica, which merged with St. Benedict’s in 1971 to form Benedictine College in Atchison. She returned to Benedictine four years ago to deliver a speech.
The St. Joseph News-Press reports that Maathai once wrote that her time at Scholastica gave her a sense of service and detachment from material things.