Motivational Speaker Spencer West visits USU

Sep 06, 2012

Update: Spencer's presentation was on Sept. 12. You can read about it on our blog. Here's his official biography:

Inspirational and charismatic, Spencer West speaks candidly about the struggles he overcame after losing his legs at the age of five. He speaks about overcoming stereotyping and bullying, about finding meaning and happiness in a material world and how he never lost the hope or courage needed to mount personal obstacles. Infused with humor and humility, his thought-provoking message inspires people to find opportunity in every challenge. With every speech, Spencer leaves an indelible mark on his audiences, instilling hope and strong leadership so that they can inspire others to create positive change.

In 2008, Spencer travelled to Kenya on an international volunteer trip where he helped build a school in a rural community in the Maasai Mara. On this trip, he met young people who strive to overcome challenges every day. He credits this experience for helping him to recognize his true calling to motivate and inspire people around the world.

Last year, Kenya experienced its worst drought in 60 years, and its effects are still being felt. In its time of need, Spencer decided to give back in his own unique way by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. His extraordinary feat attracted worldwide media attention, including CTV, CBS, the Telegraph, People Magazine and the BBC. With the world watching, Spencer successfully reached the summit of Kilimanjaro, raising over $500,000 (and counting!) to bring sustainable clean water projects in communities affected by the drought. Once again, he had redefined possible.

Since he began speaking, Spencer has reached millions of people including students, educators, corporations, college/universities, faith-based groups and families with his encouraging words. He captivated audiences of tens of thousands at We Day events with his keynote address, which was featured nationally on CTV. Spencer has shared the stage with such influential people as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Jane Goodall, former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, Mia Farrow, Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Betty Williams and Elie Wiesel, and his musical idol Jason Mraz.

The purpose of Common Hour is to provide an opportunity for intellectual engagement among students, faculty and the community.

West is the first of two university-sponsored, focal events this semester that will be broadcast to regional campuses. The other weeks will be filled with events across campus conducted by individual colleges, departments and organizations. Common Hour is targeted towards students and faculty but is also open to the public.

For more information, visit the Common Hour website.

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