Incoming Provost Josh Powers to Climb Everest High Passes; Says Trip is Motivated by Hard Work of First-Generation Students

Joshua Powers when he hiked Mount Kilimanjaro

Before Joshua Powers, William Paterson’s incoming provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, joins the University in July, he’s setting out a “dream” adventure: climbing the Himalayas in Nepal on a route known as the Everest High Passes. The trek, set for March 21 through April 7, reaches the flanks of Mount Everest and an altitude of more than 18,000 feet.

Powers, an avid climber, says one of the motivations behind his trip has been watching over the years the intensity and hard work of so many first-generation students at his previous institution, Indiana State University. “Their efforts to overcome challenge, make their families proud, and give back to their communities in my mind are the true inspiration,” he says.

“William Paterson also has many first-generation students, one of the reasons I sought it out to be the next provost,” he continues. “Finances are commonly a challenge for these students, and as part of this experience, I will be making a $1,000 donation to the William Paterson University Foundation to support students in need.”

This is the not the first time that Powers has set out on such an intense trek. In September 2017, he reached the summit of  Mount Kilimanjaro, which at more than 19,000 feet is the highest peak in Africa, and raised funds to support students at Indiana State.

Powers has been training for six months for the trip, which will take him through high mountain passes in the Everest, Lhotse, and Makalu mountain areas of Nepal, which are the first, fourth, and fifth highest mountains, respectively, in the world.  “We will also be crossing the Khumbu Glacier which is the famous one next to Everest where climbers there have to traverse the especially challenging section called the Khumbu Icefall,” he adds. While Sherpas will guide them and porters will assist with gear, Powers will be carrying a pack weighing about 25 pounds. He is traveling with a college classmate and his climbing partner on Kilimanjaro.

Powers will be blogging about his adventure during the trip: