Tori Murden-McClure to keynote Centre baccalaureate
DANVILLE, KY - Tori Murden-McClure, the Louisville woman who became the first American to row across the Atlantic Ocean, will serve as baccalaureate speaker at Centre College this spring. Murden-McClure, who holds a divinity degree from Harvard University, will deliver the baccalaureate sermon Sunday, May 28, at 11 a.m. in Centre's Norton Center for the Arts. The public is invited to attend.
Centre will award Murden-McClure an honorary degree.
The college will celebrate commencement the same day with a 3 p.m. ceremony in the Norton Center. Tickets are required for admission, and all tickets are reserved for seniors and their families. The commencement program will feature remarks by a graduating senior, a college staff member and two Kentucky civic leaders who will receive honorary degrees, retired Senator Wendell Ford and retired Congressman Ron Mazzoli. The two campus speakers will be chosen in campus balloting later this month.
The Centre senior class has 224 candidates for bachelor's degree, the second largest graduating class in the college's history.
Murden earned international acclaim on Dec. 3, 1999, when she rowed into Guadalupe in the Caribbean to complete a 3,333-mile journey. She already had earned a reputation for her athleticism and adventuresome spirit by becoming the first American to ski to the geographic South Pole and the first American to successfully climb Antarctica's Lewis Nunatuk summit.
A graduate of Collegiate High School in Louisville, Murden earned a bachelor's degree at Smith College followed by the master of divinity degree at Harvard. More recently, she completed a law degree at the University of Louisville and was admitted to the Kentucky bar.
While attending Harvard, Murden served as a counselor and chaplain at Boston City Hospital and worked at a homeless services center. Murden says the work was one of her most difficult yet rewarding experiences.
After returning to Louisville, Murden worked in community service. She was a project coordinator for public policy in the Louisville mayor's office and a project administrator for the Louisville Development Authority's Empowerment Zone project. In 1999, she joined the staff of the Muhammad Ali Center as the development director. She is a frequent lecturer and inspirational speaker.
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Public information coordinator: Patsi Barnes Trollinger