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News from the Hilltop

February 6, 2013

Adventurer Aron Ralston of "127 Hours" fame to speak at Birmingham-Southern

Aron Ralston, the subject of the award-winning feature film 127 Hours, will deliver the Alex P. Stirling Lecture at Birmingham-Southern College on Wednesday, Feb. 27.Aron Ralston

His talk will be held in Bruno Great Hall of the Norton Campus Center at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

There will be a screening of 127 Hours—the hit movie in which actor James Franco depicts Ralston’s ordeal as he was trapped in a Utah canyon and eventually forced to amputate his own arm to free himself—on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m. in Norton Theatre.

Growing up in Ohio and Indiana before moving to Colorado with his family in 1987, Ralston had little exposure to the wild outdoors. But by the time he hiked into a remote area of Utah’s canyon country in April of 2003, he was an experienced outdoorsman out for a walk in the park. Seven miles into the canyon that day, Ralston accidentally dislodged a boulder that crushed and pinned his right hand. After six days of entrapment alone, he freed himself with a multi-tool knife and hiked to a miraculous rescue.

Since his amputation, Ralston has written an internationally bestselling memoir Between a Rock and a Hard Place, spoken to hundreds of audiences around the world, and interviewed with Tom Brokaw, David Letterman, and Jay Leno.Between a Rock and a Hard Place

With a new prosthetic arm that he designed, he returned to his outdoor passions: he finished climbing Colorado’s 54 “Fourteeners” in winter, solo; he’s skied from the summit of Denali, North America’s highest mountain; and, he’s led a rafting expedition through the Grand Canyon.

When Ralston speaks to audiences, one of his key messages hones in on overcoming extreme adversity, personally or professionally: “May your boulders be your blessings. May you be able to embrace them. And may you find what’s extraordinary in yourself.”

127 Hours, the major-motion-picture adaptation of his book, directed by Danny Boyle, was nominated for six Academy Awards.

The Stirling Lecture Series is sponsored by the BSC Student Government Association in memory of Alex Stirling, the BSC student who died of cancer in 1995.

About Birmingham-Southern College:

Birmingham-Southern College is a four-year, private liberal arts institution in Birmingham, Ala., founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It enrolls about 1,200 students from more than 30 states and 16 foreign countries. Learn more online at www.bsc.edu.