Gustavus Adolphus College has selected A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure as its Reading in Common book for the 2013-14 academic year. Murden McClure is tentatively scheduled to make a public appearance on campus on Sept. 19-20.
A Pearl in the Storm is about failure and recovery. It is about storms that twist our lives and shatter our dreams. It is about the pearls: the guides, the guardians, and the mentors who lift us up after we fall. In June 1998, Tori Murden McClure began rowing across the Atlantic Ocean solo in a twenty-three-foot plywood boat with no motor or sail. Within days she lost all communication with shore but decided to forge ahead, not knowing that 1998 would turn out to be the worst hurricane season on record in the North Atlantic. When she was nearly killed by a series of violent storms, Murden McClure was forced to signal for help and head home in what felt like disgrace. But then her life changed in unexpected ways. A Pearl in the Storm is Murden McClure’s thrilling story of high adventure, and of her personal quest to discover that embracing her own humanity was more important than superhuman feats.
Murden McClure is currently serving as President of Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. She was one of two women and six Americans who were the first women and first Americans to travel over land to the geographic South Pole, skiing 750 miles from the ice shelf to the pole. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College, a Masters in Divinity from Harvard University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, and a Masters of Fine Arts in writing from Spalding. Professionally, Murden McClure has worked as a chaplain at Boston City Hospital, the executive director of a shelter for homeless women, as a public policy assistant for the Mayor of Louisville, and she worked for Muhammad Ali to assist with early efforts to create the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.
The 2013-14 academic year will be the 14th year of the Reading in Common program at Gustavus. All first-year students are expected to read the chosen book during the summer before meeting with faculty members and other Gustavus students during New Student Orientation to discuss it. New Student Orientation is also loosely based around the themes found in the book.
Books for the Reading in Common program are chosen based on their literary quality, reading manageability, interdisciplinary nature, and the author’s availability for a campus appearance. Copies of A Pearl in the Storm will soon be available for purchase in the Book Mark. For more information about the Reading in Common program at Gustavus, contact Director of Student Activities Megan Ruble at 507-933-7597 or email@example.com.
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