On April 25th 2006 Eustace Conway lectured at my college, Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire. It was an event like no other. Mr. Conway's Talk was brilliant, eloquent, and impassioned. As president of PSU's Environmental/Social Justice group I was truly pleased that the attendance not only filled the entire auditorium but included many students standing in the open doors of the hallway. It was an absolutely mesmerizing experience, one that still brings tears to my eyes in fond recollection.
The impact that Eustace had on the members of the audience was one that I will never forget. It was the defining moment of my undergraduate career – my own graduation a month later paled in comparison. The audience sat there rapt, enthralled, moved by every story Eustace told; amazed that someone raised with the same comforts as themselves could and would so willfully renounce it all and have no regrets. Though I had heard some of the stories before or read of them in Elizabeth Gilbert's The Last American Man, there were those I was unfamiliar with and I too fast became one of the wide-eyed, enraptured audience members.
Eustace's rapport with the audience was brilliant and spot on, appealing to their every sense. He was friendly and engaging, speaking to them as if they were each close friends. The audience felt that rapport and the genuine feelings he exuded with such confidence and skill. By the lecture's end the audience rose to their feet to give Eustace a long, and much deserve standing ovation. It was thunderous and really beautiful to witness.