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Gannon University to Host Author John O'Leary for Gannon READS Program

"On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life" by author John O'Leary

Gannon University will welcome author John O’Leary to discuss his book, On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life, as part of the university’s Gannon READS program.

The Gannon READS keynote will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Warner Theatre, 811 State St. This is a required event for all first-year seminar students and faculty and is open to the Gannon community.

On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life is an “account of triumph over tragedy” and O’Leary’s “reflection on the seven life-giving choices he made that ensured his survival and ability to live a radically inspired life” following a devastating house fire at the age of nine that led to burns on 100% of his body.

O’Leary shares in his book the insights he gained through his tragic experience; the family, medical staff, strangers and other heroes who inspired him to live despite the odds; and the seven choices that helped shape his future and can shape that of others’. O’Leary is an internationally acclaimed speaker, bestselling author, and renowned podcast host, and has motivated hundreds of thousands of people to live inspired.

The annual Gannon Reading to Enhance Awareness of a Diverse Society program introduces incoming students to a faculty-chosen book, which is presented to them at the Convocation Ceremony at the start of the fall semester. Many faculty and staff members incorporate and design classes and leadership opportunities around the book during the semester.

A number of others also read the book, including first-year seminar classes, Student Government Association members, Orientation and Preview GU transition guides, fourth-year physician assistant students, and graduate occupational and physical therapy students. All faculty, staff and returning students are encouraged to read the book as well.

"Gannon READS is an innovative component of the first-year experience designed to grow and build bonds between the students and lead them to explore diversity of 'the other' on campus and in our community," said Walter Iwanenko, Ph.D., vice president of academic affairs. "We are honored and excited to welcome John O’Leary to share in person his experience that we've read about in his book, and to have him be part of our Gannon READS program."


To read some thoughts from John O'Leary, visit

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