Campus News

Bill Irwin to Speak at This Week's Common Hour

Story posted April 07, 2004

Hiker and motivational speaker Bill Irwin will be this week's Common Hour speaker at 12:30 p.m., Friday, April 9, in Kresge Auditorium, Visual Arts Center.

Irwin will give a talk titled "Overcoming the Odds – But Now I See!"

Common Hour is open to all Bowdoin students, faculty, and staff.

Bill Irwin, with his Seeing Eye dog Orient, is the only blind person to have completed the 2,168-mile Appalachian Trail. His historic hike began in Georgia and ended almost nine months later in north central Maine. This example of overcoming odds was the single most publicized human endeavor that year.

He continues to inspire millions of persons each year as a motivational speaker. His unique message of perseverance and the will to survive appeals to diverse audiences throughout the world as he motivates his listeners to achieve their impossible dreams. His homespun, self-deprecating humor and life experience (over 30 years in corporate America, recovery from alcoholism, the Appalachian Trail experiences, and encounters as a family counselor) allow him to make life-changing observations, which translate into eventual life-changing decisions for his listeners.

Irwin's best-selling book, Blind Courage, an account of his lifetime of overcoming odds and his incredible journey, was released in 1992 and is now in its eleventh printing.

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