Alison Levine Named 2013 Commencement Speaker

Alison Levine is not known for slowing down, but for taking risks and doing so with a smile.

She will be the main Commencement speaker at the May 11 ceremony.

Levine serves as an adjunct professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership. She is also an advisor to the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point and serves on the board of the Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics at Duke University.

Apart from teaching and advising, Levine has another passion: climbing. She is the founder of the Climb High Foundation, which trains jobless women in western Uganda to work as trekking guides in the Rwenzori Mountains.

She has survived sub-zero temperatures, hurricane-force winds, sudden avalanches, and a career on Wall Street. Levine started climbing mountains just 18 months after her second surgery to repair a life-threatening heart condition. She has since scaled peaks on every continent, served as the team captain of the first American Women's Everest Expedition, and skied across the Arctic Circle to the North Pole.

A highly sought-after achievement speaker, Levine is one of few who have presented at the prestigious World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In 2008, she made history as the first American to reach the South Pole on skis via a remote route across west Antarctica. In 2010, upon reaching the peak of Everest, she became one of the few climbers to complete the Adventure Grand Slam -- climbing the 7 Summits and skiing to both Poles.

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