Magician and author Jim Munroe will infuse his motivational story of survival with acts of illusion when he keynotes Judson University's World Leaders Forum Inspirational Series Oct. 9.
Munroe found his passion for magic after an injury ended his college baseball career. By 2009, he was performing sold-out shows and touring as one of the most sought-after magicians in the world, according to a news release from Judson.
At 29 he was diagnosed with leukemia and given months to live. He underwent a bone-marrow transplant, battled the disease and survived.
Munroe, who calls his survival a "medical and philosophical miracle," decided to incorporate messages of defeating obstacles and overcoming skepticism into his performances. His show, "The MAZE," serves as a recruitment tool for Be The Match, a bone marrow donor registry program.
Munroe also wrote "The Charlatan: The Skeptical, Mysterious, Supernatural True Story of a Christian Magician," and speaks regularly at conferences, corporations and events.
"He's an accomplished professional in his craft. He's world class," Judson President Gene Crume said. "But the path to achieving that has been quite a journey for him."
Judson's World Leaders Forum aims to find speakers who provide uplifting, universal messages about the meaning of life and overcoming challenges, Crume said. Munroe's story does just that, he said, while also aligning with the university's faith-based values.
"Jim comes from the world of entertainment, and how he tells his story is incredibly unique," Crume said. "It's something that every person, regardless of their background or where they're coming from, can relate to."
With Munroe's appearance, Crume said, the Inspirational Series could also serve as a platform for encouraging area residents to register as bone marrow donors. The university expects to make some additional announcements related to the bone marrow registry program as the forum draws closer.
Munroe, who lives with his wife and children just outside of Dallas, served as the keynote speaker at Judson's Community Prayer Breakfast in May. In a video released Tuesday, he said he looks forward to returning to Judson to share his journey from athlete to magician to cancer survivor.
"I know attendees will leave this event feeling truly inspired," he said.
Munroe will perform at 7 p.m. at Herrick Chapel on Judson's Elgin campus. Tickets are available at $25 for general admission and $75 for priority seats. A $500 VIP ticket will include priority seating, a photo with Munroe, a special gift and an invitation to a private reception with Munroe.
Proceeds will support the Judson Leadership Scholars Program and other entrepreneurial activities. For more information, visit judsonu.edu/wlfinspiration.