2,190 miles, or roughly 1,460 laps around the lake, if we are speaking in Furman terms.

That is how far speed hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis trekked to withdraw, rest and recenter before tackling the whirlwind of life after college.  A two-time record-breaking Appalachian Trail hiker, 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, highly-awarded entrepreneur and critically acclaimed author, Davis visited campus Thursday, September  23, to speak on her experiences of finding restoration and refuge in the isolation of nature.

 A collaboration of Furman’s Mere Christianity Forum (MCF) and Furman University Outdoors Club (FUOC) made Davis’ guest lecture possible.

MCF president Frances North stated, “While Davis' time on the trail as a speed hiker may not correlate with popular connotations of the word ‘rest,’ her time in the wilderness still represents a sort of Sabbath.  The MCF leadership hopes that students who attend this event will discover rest in a broader sense — not just as ‘the state of not working,’ but as an intentional, active process of spiritual, physical and/or mental renewal.” 

Well beyond her undergraduate years, Davis has the opportunity to offer real-life advice for students who find themselves overwhelmed by the chaos of our modern world and stressed out by quickly approaching adulthood careers.  She has not only discovered the rejuvenating properties of activities such as hiking, but also how to successfully we reside in.

“To me, the natural world is a symbol of never-ending beauty, power and resilience; it is the most influential piece of infrastructure that humans can encounter to both grow and be humbled,” expressed FUOC co-president Sydney Spires, “I am excited for Davis to impart her unique experience of transformation through the natural world and hopefully give students a deeper insight into the great significance of the human-nature connection.”