Tori Murden McClure is welcomed as the speaker at Sierra Nevada College’s 43rd annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18 at 10am. McClure 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 is the President of Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. 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, The Rosie O’Donnel Show, and several others. A sought after speaker, she has given hundreds of talks to colleges, high schools, corporations, ports organizations, and educational groups across the country.
McClure holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing from Spalding University with an emphasis in Creative Non-Fiction. She holds a Masters in Divinity from Harvard University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Louisville Law School, and she received her undergraduate degree from Smith College. She is a two time Semester Graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School. She is a Registered Emergency Medical Technician certified in both urban and wilderness settings. She is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. McClure and her husband, “Mac,” reside in Louisville, Kentucky.