Everest survivor, MSU grad Beck Weathers to speak at commencement

Everest survivor, MSU grad Beck Weathers to speak at commencement

Midwestern State University graduate Dr. Beck Weathers will deliver the commencement address at Midwestern State University's graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. Dec. 13 at Kay Yeager Coliseum. Approximately 458 students are candidates to earn their degrees this December.

Weathers was a member of a 1996 expedition to Mount Everest that was hit with a severe snowstorm. Eight died and others were severely injured. Unconscious, Weathers was left in the snow and presumed dead, but he regained consciousness and made his way to a camp. Weathers suffered frostbite that resulted in the loss of his right hand, part of his left hand, and his nose.

Weathers wrote Left for Dead: My Journey Home from Everest about his experience on Everest and how it changed his life. The book was published in 2000. His story of survival after being presumed dead taught him to value his family and the gift of having a second chance. His inspirational message of hope in the face of insurmountable odds has made him a popular speaker around the world.

That day on Everest also was the subject of Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster. It has been adapted into the upcoming film Everest with Josh Brolin portraying Weathers and Robin Wright portraying Weathers' wife Peach.

Weathers majored in chemistry at Midwestern and graduated summa cum laude in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree. He received his medical degree from Southwestern Medical School in 1972, and completed a pathology internship. His other professional experiences include a 1976-77 teaching appointment at Harvard Medical School. He has served at Medical City Dallas Hospital and LabCorp as co-medical director since 1977. In 2001, he was honored by Toastmasters International as one of the "Top Five Speakers of 2001."