because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tori Murden

Some folks are athletes. Some folks are scholars. But not usually both. Tori Murden proved it can be done -- and then some. First, she earned a Bachelor's degree in psychology from Smith, a Master's degree in divinity from Harvard, and a law degree from University of Louisville. Then, she decided to row a boat -- alone and without assistance -- across the Atlantic Ocean.

Her first try in 1998 -- at thirty-five years old -- was a bust when a hurricane got in the way. Not to be stopped, however, Murden just re-grouped and went back out in 1999 to successfully complete an 81-day, 3000 mile trip from the Canary Islands to Guadalupe. Having faced and mastered the ocean, she has subsequently skied 750 miles across Antarctica to the South Pole and climbed mountains on several continents. Yet she calls herself an "explorer," rather than an "adventurer."

She has worked with troubled teens and homeless families, been the Chaplain at Boston City Hospital, and  served as a Public Policy Assistant to the Mayor of a major city. She earned yet another degree: a Master's of Fine Arts in Writing in 2005. She's the Chair of the Board of the National Outdoor Leadership School. She even helped Mohammed Ali set up the Mohammed Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky. And she's the President of Spalding University. No wonder she's won multiple awards around the world. No wonder her memoirs were published in 2009. No wonder she makes the list as an in-your-face woman.

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