Author and Speaker Marcus Engel Presents for Character U

by William Edwards '17 | Feb 17, 2015

For someone who can’t see, Marcus Engel really knows how to give people a new perspective on things.

Marcus Engel and his guide dog CarsonEngel (right), now a highly successful author and inspirational speaker, talked to students earlier this month about beating adversity and achieving happiness despite circumstances.  This is the ninth year the Missouri native has come to DeSales, brought in as a keynote speaker for the University’s Character U program.

Engel was blinded during college after being struck by a drunk driver while sitting in the passenger seat of friend’s car. He endured numerous surgeries and rehab procedures to fight his way to recovery and “reclaim his life.”

Since his accident, Engel has done just that and more, publishing four books focusing on compassionate patient care and inspiration. He also regularly speaks at colleges and corporations around the country, and recently received his master’s degree from Columbia University in Narrative Medicine.

“I hope my presentation impacted DeSales students where they need it the most,” Engel said. “I hope students who are going into the caregiving professions took away the cornerstone of caregiving: simple human presence. I hope that students who have been struggling with any adversity; grades, family problems, money issues, interpersonal relationships, etc. know that they have the power to set their own path and not be jerked around by life.”

Throughout the presentation, Engel drew laughter from the audience and related to students through a light-hearted, down-to-earth personality.

“Marcus comes to DeSales every year and he never fails to have a positive impact on me,” Character U Peer Mentor, Dan McDonald ’17 said. “The character trait for this month is love, and he spoke about the possibility of loving someone you don’t know. His story is very inspirational and he has certainly overcome a lot of obstacles in his life.”

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