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SLU Alumnus to Speak About the 'Power of One'


SLU alumnus John O'Leary (Cook '99) will share his story of resilience in the face of adversity with the SLU community in a special set of talks on Sept. 26 at the Center for Global Citizenship and at the Learning Resources Center.

John O'Leary
SLU alumnus John O'Leary (Cook '99) will speak on campus later this month. Submitted photo

O'Leary is a New York Times best-selling author and well-known speaker. 

The Cura program and Human Resources are sponsoring John O’Leary’s talk, “The Power of One.”

The talk is part of the Cura program, which launched in February 2016. Cura is a grassroots effort created in response to input from SLU's faculty and staff members. It aims to empower and support all members of the SLU community in building and sustaining a positive workplace culture in support of the University’s mission.

O’Leary’s talk came about through the Cura Steering Committee’s efforts to find ways for the University community to come together to listen, learn and engage in dialogue about ways to support one another as SLU employees seek to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the University’s students, patients and in the St. Louis community at large.

“Our institution is here not only to serve our students, patients, and community, but to also create an environment where each of us finds joy, meaning, and purpose in our work,” Mickey Luna, vice president of human resources, said.  “Our University is committed to investing in our faculty and staff and creating a culture that enables every member of our community to share their gifts with the world.”

O’Leary survived a childhood accident that burned 100 percent of his body through the life-saving intervention of high-quality medical care. O’Leary, who has served as a hospital chaplain and has written about his experience, speaks to the power of SLU’s mission as it manifests through the efforts of the University community every day. The Sept. 26 event is meant to be an opportunity for reflection on the power of actions, large and small, to positively impact people’s lives.

O'Leary speaking in 2014

O'Leary has told his story to groups around the country. 

The event’s Reflection Guide is available to start an ongoing dialogue throughout the campus community.

Human Resources and the Cura program are asking all University units to encourage staff members to attend one of the sessions of O’Leary’s talk. A 7 a.m. session is scheduled as is an 8:30 a.m. talk.

The 7 a.m. session will take place in the Learning Resources Center Auditorium and will last until 7:45 a.m. Complimentary parking will be provided in the Hickory East garage and registration is available here.

The 8:30 a.m. talk will take place at the Center for Global Citizenship and will include remarks from University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D. Those attending the 8:30 a.m. event will also have an opportunity to meet O’Leary and purchase a copy of his book, On Fire. The 8:30 a.m. event will run until 10 a.m.

Complimentary parking for the event at the Center for Global Citizenship will be available in the Laclede and Olive Compton garages and registration available here.

Group registration for the talk, as teams are encouraged to attend together, is available.

For more information about John O’Leary, read the SLU profile that appeared in Universitas.