Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, best-selling author, and candidate for the governor of Missouri, will visit Virginia Tech next month to discuss his life, part of which is detailed in his book, “The Heart and the Fist,” Virginia Tech’s 2015-16 Common Book.

Greitens will give a presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, in the auditorium of Burruss Hall, located at 800 Drillfield Drive. The event is open to the public and the university community. Following his talk, Greitens will hold a book signing.

“The Heart and the Fist” details Greitens’ life of service, through academics as a Rhodes Scholar and Truman Scholar as well as roles with humanitarian organizations and service as a United States Navy SEAL. Following his military service, Greitens founded The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit organization that challenges veterans to serve in communities across the United States.

In September, Greitens announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for governor of Missouri in the 2016 election.

His presentation is sponsored and organized by the Office of First Year Experiences, with the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets as hosts as part of the Leaders in Action lecture series coordinated each term by the corps and the Maj. Gen. W. Thomas Rice Center for Leader Development.

“Eric Greitens has many unique perspectives – as an academic, humanitarian, and Navy SEAL – that our community has learned about through the Common Book,” said Mary Ann Lewis, assistant provost for first-year experiences. “We hope his visit will help the book come to life and engage our campus community in discussions about the many paths and ways we can serve others.”

The Common Book Project began at Virginia Tech in 1998 to enrich the first-year experience and create a sense of community by discussing and learning from the same book. The Common Book is distributed to all first-year and transfer students. Faculty members who teach those students are encouraged to integrate the Common Book into their curriculum through class discussions and projects.

The Common Book Project Committee selected “The Heart and the Fist” after receiving 163 recommendations for 103 books. Through a review process that involved students, faculty, and staff, the committee chose Greitens’ book, noting its strong links to the university’s core values and its mission of Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

“The Heart and the Fist” is the university’s ninth Common Book.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation for the public presentation, please contact Karen Strickler at 540-231-3341 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

In conjunction with Greitens’ talk and Veteran’s Day, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is hosting the Veterans 5K run at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8, on the Virginia Tech cross country course. Funds raised will go to The Mission Continues, Greitens’ nonprofit agency.

The Mission Continues challenges veterans to find new missions after separating from the military by focusing their talents and energy to tackle challenges facing us at home. By empowering veterans to serve at home, The Mission Continues seeks to change the national conversation about veterans while building stronger communities.

Register for the Veterans 5K online.

Share this story