First woman to row Atlantic Ocean coming to Paducah, Kentucky
Tori Murden McClure, noted author of A Pearl in the Storm, will be the special guest of Paducah Bank at the October 17 Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Paducah Bank is bringing McClure to Paducah in celebration of the bank’s 65th anniversary in 2013.
In June 1998, 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, she was forced to signal for help and head home in what felt like disgrace. But then her life changed in unexpected ways. She was hired by Muhammad Ali, who told her she did not want to be known as the woman who “almost” rowed across the Atlantic.
She did not give up. A passionate world adventurer and humanitarian, McClure did become the first woman and first American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She was also the first woman and first American to travel over land to the geographic South Pole, skiing 750 miles from the ice shelf to the pole. An avid mountaineer, McClure has climbed on several continents. She is a fully certified emergency medical technician in both urban and wilderness areas, and is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) where she served as the chair of the board of trustees until June 2012.
McClure holds an A.B. from Smith College, a Master of Divinity from Harvard University, and her juris doctorate from the University of Louisville’s Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. In 2005, she earned her master of fine arts in writing from Spalding University. Her non-fiction book, A Pearl in the Storm, was published by Harper-Collins in 2009.
While McClure became president of Spalding University in July 2010, she was no stranger to the institution as she is a graduate of the MFA in Writing program and a former administrator. From 2004 through 2009, she served as the vice president of external relations, enrollment management and student affairs. A longtime resident of Louisville, McClure has served in a variety of other professional capacities prior to arriving at Spalding University. She remains involved in a variety of community leadership positions and serves on several boards of directors. Tori Murden McClure is passionate about the transforming power of education and inspires individuals, and particularly students at Spalding, to seek greatness through learning and to use their talents and skills to contribute to their own communities.
“Tori’s thrilling true story of high adventure and of her personal quest to discover that embracing her own humanity was more important than superhuman feats,” said Paducah Bank marketing director Susan Guess.
McClure will be the featured speaker at the specially scheduled Chamber breakfast on October 17 at 7:30 a.m. at the Julian Carroll Convention Center. Tickets are $15 for Chamber members and $25 for non-chamber members. For ticket, call the Paducah Chamber office at 443.1746.
McClure will also speak to students at Lone Oak Intermediate school students at 9:30 a.m. on October 17.