Career and Leadership Connections event taking it to new heights

February 20, 2017

Climbing the seven highest summits in the world is not a task for the weak at heart.

Patrick Hickey is one of only 120 people in the world to accomplish “the holy grail of mountaineering”, and the only nurse in history to finish.

The 33-year healthcare professional will visit campus on Saturday, February 25 to discuss his journey and share his experiences. His visit is a part of the Lees-McRae Career and Leadership Connections event–a daylong leadership and career-preparation program set to inspire and connect students with both alumni and successful leaders.

Hickey’s presentation will begin at 11:30 a.m. in Evans Auditorium on Saturday. His talk will be followed by a question and answer session at 1:15 p.m. in room 120 of the Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons. The event is open to all students, faculty and staff (registration closes February 22).

Hickey not only wanted to overcome his personal challenge to climb the world’s highest peaks, a journey he began in 2001, but also to inspire others to achieve their highest goals in their line of work.

The seven summits are a group of the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. The summits include: Mount Everest in China/Nepal, Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, Mount Denali in the U.S., Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Elbrus in Russia, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Mount Puncak Jaya in Indonesia and Mount Kosciuszko in Australia.

“When I climbed the seven summits [and ultimately completed the journey on May 24, 2007], I faced a lot of the same challenges that medical professionals face every day, such as working in risky environments that require split-second decisions and teamwork,” Hickey said in a release. “I learned quickly how to manage these challenges to achieve a goal and desired outcome.”

In 2005, he created the University of South Carolina’s College of Nursing Summit Scholarship fund, with the goal of raising $1 for every foot of altitude he climbed on Everest.

Honored for his dedicated service to the nursing profession, Hickey has been recognized as one of the Palmetto State’s Top 100 Nurses.

He also earned the Palmetto Gold Award in 2002, South Carolina Partners of the Americas Volunteer of the Year Award in 2004, and the South Carolina Nurses Association Presidents Award for Service in 2007 and 2008.

Hickey acquired his diploma in nursing at St. Lawrence College in Brockville, Ontario; his Baccalaureate in nursing at Corpus Christi State University in Corpus Christi, Texas; and his Master’s in health education, Master’s in nursing and doctorate in public health at the University of South Carolina.

Learn more about the Career and Leadership Connections event, as well as view the full line-up of speakers and events 

Media Contact:

Nina Mastandrea  |  Content Manager
Tel: 828.898.8729  |  Email:
Speaker Patrick Hickey