The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

‘127 Hours’ inspiration Aron Ralston to speak at Varsity Theatre tonight

Rock climbing and long-distance biking are far from an adventure for Aron Ralston, the man who inspired “127 Hours,” the 2010 film starring James Franco.

Stuck in a crevice in a remote Utah canyon in 2003, Ralston had to take drastic measures to escape. He will visit campus and share his story today at 7:30 p.m. in the Varsity Theatre.

Alex Lahr, communications vice president for Marquette Student Government and a senior in the College of Communication, oversaw all communication about the event and has been planning for Ralston’s arrival since the summer.

“Ralston has such an amazing story, one that we don’t often get to hear at Marquette,” Lahr said in an email.  “I think his qualities of leadership – as a former resident assistant, an engineering student and hiker – really tap into the Marquette motto of ‘be the difference.’”

MUSG was notified last summer that Ralston would be speaking at universities across the U.S. and thought inviting him to campus would be beneficial for Marquette. Lahr said students can expect to hear an account of Ralston’s experience in the canyon during his visit.

“I really believe that students will be able to relate to Ralston, realizing that we have the capacity to do anything when presented with a great challenge,” Lahr said. “They will be wowed, learn more about his story and what went through his head when he was making this decision.”

When Mary Maruggi, programs board speakers commissioner for MUSG and primary planner of the event, talked to Ralston himself over the phone last week, he told her he is excited to come to Marquette.

Matt McGonegle, MUSG programs board vice president, also spoke with Ralston over the phone.

“Having spoken with him briefly on the phone, having read his book and seen the movie, they (the audience) are in for a real treat,” McGonegle said in an email. “Aron is amazingly down to earth and has a truly inspirational story to share with the world.”

Ralston will host a question and answer session after the presentation.

“Aron will take questions, be doing a meet and greet and book signing after the event,” Lahr said. “It will give the audience a chance to interact with him after the presentation.”

McGonegle said he is looking forward to getting a chance to meet Ralston in person and learn more about his story.

“Aron was nice enough to open up for questions after he is done speaking,” McGonegle said. “I challenge anyone to come to this event and not walk out of there a changed person in some way.”

Prior to the event, audience members have the chance to win Ralston’s book by using #AronMU on Twitter.

Lahr said he is excited for Ralston’s presentation and cannot wait to see how students react and what they take away from his talk.

“I have a feeling that many of his points will resonate with Marquette students for years to come,” he said.

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