More than 400 people attended program by Jeannette Walls
EL DORADO, Kan. – Bestselling author of the New York Times #1 book The Glass Castle Jeannette Walls spoke to a crowd of more than 400 Monday night at Butler Community College.
Drawing from her compelling memoir, which has been adapted into a major motion picture, Walls shared anecdotes from her childhood and from throughout her life, demonstrating that we all have more in common than we think and that our flaws can be our greatest assets.
“I was completely convinced that if people knew the truth about me, I would lose everything,” Walls told the audience. “[But] if you’re able to let down your barriers, authenticity is contagious.”
During a question and answer session following her presentation, Walls invited – especially the students in attendance – all audience members to be as honest as possible.
“We’re all so much more than the labels other people stick on us and the ones we stick on each other,” Walls said. “We all have our scars. Some are visible and some are invisible. Your scars are your story.”
The author sat for an interview with the student newspaper and television station prior to her 7:00 p.m. speaking engagement and following the event spent two hours autographing books, speaking to fans, and taking pictures. From guests bearing brand new copies of her novels, to dog-eared and well-read versions, each person had a special moment with Walls.
Walls’ appearance is made possible by the Harold Smith Cultural Series, a gift to Butler County from the estate of Harold Smith, an El Dorado native. Smith’s wish was “to give local people the opportunity to hear speakers they would not otherwise hear.”
“Events like this are a gift to Butler County from the college,” Vice President of Advancement Stacy Cofer said. “It is one of the many ways we give back and make an impact in the county and would not be possible without generous and visionary donors like Harold Smith.”
Past Harold Smith Speakers:
•2016 – Fabien Cousteau, grandson of explorer Jacques Cousteau
• 2014 – Michael Uslan, originator and executive producer of the Batman movies
• 2012 – Warren Brown, founder and owner of CakeLove Bakery
• 2008 – Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company
• 2002 – Barbara Bush, former first lady and presidential mother.