In 1987 Lynne Cox swam 2.7 miles across the frigid Bering Strait, drawing attention to the physical proximity of the United States and the Soviet Union near the end of the Cold War. She's been credited with helping to warm relations between the two nations with her daring action, and she'll talk about that at the University of Rochester Friday, Oct. 19, as part of this year's Stanton/Anthony Conversations, a series of annual forums on issues of women's rights.
Cox will speak during a luncheon and afterward she'll take part in the panel "Daring the Impossible: Strong Women Take on the World," with polar explorer Ann Bancroft and winter high peaks veteran Carol Stone White. The luncheon takes place at noon in the River Room of the Interfaith Chapel. Tickets for the lunch are $40 and reservations are required by Monday, Oct. 15. The panel discussion is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. in the chapel's Sanctuary. The panel event is free, but registration is required by Wednesday, Oct. 17. To register for either event or for more information on the center, visit www.rochester.edu/SBA/. For further information on registration, reservations, and parking, contact the Anthony Center at (585) 275-8799.
The program is sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership at the University and is named for suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
Anthony Center director Nora Bredes said the participants in this year's Conversations embody Susan B. Anthony's spirit.
"Our focus on women adventurersówomen with remarkable stamina, will and visionóreminds us, as Anthony did, that each of us is capable of using her strengths to change the world for the better," Bredes said.
Cox, who the International Swimming Hall of Fame called "the best cold water, long distance swimmer the world has ever seen," also swam the 32-degree waters of the Southern Ocean, a journey she chronicled in the 2004 book Swimming to Antarctica. Starting with an English Channel swim at the age of 15 in which she broke both the men's and women's time records, Cox began a career defined by firsts in the world of open water distance swimming.
Several times she's swum waters between two nations to promote peace and cooperation. Aside from her Bering Strait swim for the Cold War, in 1990 she swam across the Beagle Channel between Argentine and Chile to promote cooperation between the two countries. Three years later, she swam through the Gulf of Aqaba from Egypt to Israel to Jordan, tracing the progress of peace between the three countries.
At the luncheon, she'll receive the Susan B. Anthony Legacy Award, which is given to a woman whose work and spirit exemplify Susan B. Anthony's perseverance, creative energy, and commitment to equality between women and men, for the benefit of all.
Cox will then join fellow women adventurers Bancroft and White in the Stanton/Anthony Conversations.
Bancroft is one of the world's preeminent polar explorers and she's credited with using her adventures to inspire women and girls worldwide to realize their dreams. As an explorer, educator, sought-after speaker, and philanthropist, Bancroft has shared her stories and aspirations of outdoor adventure to inspire audiences across the globe. In 2001 Glamour magazine named her one of the "Women of the Year," she was featured in the book Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century in 1998, inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1995 and named Ms. Magazine's "Woman of the Year" in 1987.
White has made her name both as an author and a winter hiker. She hikes year-round throughout the Northeast, and completed climbs of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks in winter in 1997 and New Hampshire's 48 High Peaks in winter in 2006. High Peaks are those exceeding 4,000 feet. She's authored both Catskill Day Hikes for All Seasons and Women with Altitude: Challenging the Adirondack High Peaks in Winter. The latter chronicles more than 200 adventures of 29 women who reached the summits of all 46 Adirondack High Peaks in winter.
The Stanton/Anthony Conversations is an annual series composed of several events. The luncheon and panel are being held during Meliora Weekend, the University's annual tradition of celebrating homecoming, alumni reunions, and parents' weekend together. The Stanton/Anthony Conversations program is supported by the Nan Johnson Endowment. Johnson is a former Monroe County Legislator and the founding director of the Anthony Center.