Saint Louis University

John O'Leary - "Power of One" Speaker Event

September 26, 2017 | 8:30am-10:00am | Center for Global Citizenship

Expected to die. Now teaching others how to truly live.

John was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, he created a massive explosion in his garage and was burned on 100% of his body. Given less than 1% chance of survival, John is proof of the power of the human spirit. His unlikely recovery meant a journey of pain and loss that could have easily been insurmountable. However, far from being an example of someone who simply endured tragedy, John is a luminous example of thriving through adversity.

Surprisingly, this "survivor" story isn't focused on John - rather, it is a celebration of heroes who intimately served him and his family. From a dedicated Hall of Fame sports announcer to a visionary burn nurse (and countless others), every individual involved in this 1987 fire teaches us this truth: one person can make a profound difference in the lives of others.

With emotional storytelling and unexpected humor, John reminds audiences of the significance of daily attitudes, the power of gratitude, and the impact of serving others with courage. He reawakens audiences to realize the gift of today and the possibility of tomorrow. Consistently described as "the best speaker we've ever had," John's emotional story-telling, unexpected humor, and authenticity make each of his presentations truly transformational.


All employees are invited to attend this one-time speaker event as an inspirational moment to remind each of us of the power we have to make a difference and shape the future of SLU - for our students, for each other, and for our community. Register here through SkillSoft to reserve your seat and be entered into a raffle to receive a complementary copy of John's book, On Fire. Copies of the book will also be available for purchase at the event. Click here to download the event flyer. Parking will be available for attendees in either the Olive/Compton or Laclede garages.

*Our medical enterprise and faculty or staff teaching classes during the scheduled time of the talk per the fall catalog, will receive a special invitation to an alternative time.

Please contact with questions.

Event Resources

Reflection Guide - Includes reflection questions, group discussion activities, and other learning resources to make the most of this event for teams or departments.

Communication Guide (Google Doc) - Includes sample messages for supervisors to direct reports to attend the event and newsletter copy. You will need to be logged into Google Drive from your MyTools tab in MySLU.

Group Registration Template - We encourage teams and departments to attend together. To help facilitate group registration, download the Group Registration template and follow the included instructions.

About John: John O'Leary is a SLU graduate (Cook '99) and has served as a chaplain at Cardinal Glennon. As a young child he sustained burns in a gasoline accident and received treatment at Mercy's burn unit. He is a graduate of Desmet High School and currently resides in Webster Groves with his wife, Beth (Hittler) O'Leary (Doisy '01), and family. Learn more about John:

Higher purpose. Greater good.
© 1818 - 2017  SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY   |   Disclaimer   |  Mobile Site
St. Louis   |   Madrid