MTSU Convocation Aug. 26 Features Author Tori McClure
“A Pearl in the Storm” author Tori McClure — a woman renowned for exploring new territory — will help welcome students to their new lives as MTSU scholars at the annual University Convocation inside Murphy Center on Sunday, Aug. 26.
The public is welcome to the free 2 p.m. event in Hale Arena, which helps mark the beginning of the 2012-13 academic year at MTSU, the university’s 101st year of educating Tennessee’s best.
Convocation formally welcomes new students into the MTSU learning community. Faculty members march in their regalia as the MTSU Band of Blue performs, and the traditions and rituals of the university are explained to the newest members of the MTSU family.
McClure’s national bestseller, which is MTSU’s 2012 Summer Reading Selection, is a memoir of her three-month solo trip in a rowboat across the Atlantic Ocean. She was the first woman to accomplish such a feat, which she risked as part of a personal challenge to step away from her regimented life.
“This book describes that undertaking and so much more,” said Dr. Laurie Witherow of the University College, who coordinates the annual reading project.
“The official website for the book describes it this way: ‘“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.’”
McClure now serves as vice president for external relations, enrollment management and student affairs at Spalding University in Louisville, Ky. In addition to her solo Atlantic adventure, she is the first woman to ski overland to the South Pole.
The author earned her Bachelor of Arts from Smith College and also boasts a master's in divinity from Harvard University, a law degree from the University of Louisville School of Law and a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Spalding University. She also has worked as a chaplain at Boston City Hospital and for Muhammad Ali at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville.
MTSU’s Summer Reading Program, created in 2002, aims to provide a unifying experience for entering freshmen. They’re expected to read the book before fall classes start Aug. 25, and all University 1010 classes will discuss it. Faculty also are incorporating the book into their fall lesson plans.
First-year students are expected to attend Convocation; their families and members of the MTSU and surrounding communities are welcome, too.
Immediately after Convocation, the public also is invited to the annual President’s Picnic in Walnut Grove in the center of campus between the Cope Administration Building and Peck Hall. The picnic features traditional cookout foods as well as fun and fellowship to celebrate the new academic year.
Both events are part of MTSU’s annual “Week of Welcome” celebration. For a complete “Week of Welcome” schedule, visit www.mtsu.edu/nsfp/welcome_nsfp.php or call 615-898-2454 for more information.