KWC Convocation Speaker Tori Murden McClure

Owensboro, KY (August 31, 2012) – Kentucky Wesleyan College Opening Convocation will take place on Thursday, September 6, at 6 p.m. at Wesleyan Heights United Methodist Church, and Tori Murden McClure, president of Spalding University will speak. She is best known as the first woman and first American to row solo and unassisted across the Atlantic Ocean. She was also the first woman and first American to travel overland to the geographic South Pole. McClure has completed major climbs on several continents. She has worked as chaplain of Boston City Hospital, as policy assistant to the mayor of Louisville, director of a shelter for homeless women, and has worked with the boxer and humanitarian Muhammad Ali. McClure recounts her journey across the Atlantic in her memoir “A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean (HarperCollins), finding that what she is looking for lies not in a superhuman show of strength, but rather in embracing what it means to be human. 


McClure’s achievements have been cited in more than a dozen books, and several dozen major magazines. She has appeared on national television programs such as “Good Morning America,” the “Today Show” “Oprah”,Late Night with David Letterman,” the “CBS Evening News with Dan Rather,” “Exhale” with Candice Bergen, CNN Domestic and International and “The Rosie O’Donnell Show.” She has given hundreds of talks to colleges, high schools, corporations, ports organizations and educational groups across the country.


McClure is the recipient of several international honors. She was the first woman to be awarded The Peter Bird Trophy, which is given each year to the adventurer who demonstrates endurance, courage and tenacity in the face of adversity. She has also received a Special Victor Award. Previous recipients of this award include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Carl Lewis, Wayne Gretzky, Walter Payton, Muhammad Ali and Jackie Joyner-Kersee. In Paris, L’ Academies des Sport honored McClure with a Medal for Sporting Achievement. Other recipients included Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones for a non-stop circumnavigation of the globe by balloon and Lance Armstrong for his victory in the Tour de France.


McClure was inaugurated as president of Spalding University in October 2010. She previously  served as vice-president of external relations, enrollment management and student affairs for six years.


She holds a master of fine arts in writing from Spalding University with an emphasis in creative non-fiction. She holds a master in divinity from Harvard University, a juris doctor from the University of Louisville Law School, and she received her undergraduate degree from Smith College.


Actress Candice Bergen calls McClure “one of the most remarkable women I have ever met.”


Convocation is free and open to the public.




Kathy Rutherman

Director of Public Relations

Kentucky Wesleyan College



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