Hannibal-LaGrange University announced Luke Zamperini as the keynote speaker for the 77th Annual Booster Banquet.

Hannibal-LaGrange University announced Luke Zamperini as the keynote speaker for the 77th Annual Booster Banquet. The banquet will be held Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 pm. Tickets for the banquet will be available for purchase on Sept. 1.

Luke Zamperini is the son of Louis Zamperini, one of World War II's most well-known prisoners of war and hero of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Louis Zamperini is the subject of Laura Hillenbrand's latest book, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, which has repeatedly been in the number one position on The New York Times Bestseller list and was made into the 2014 movie Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie.

Luke Zamperini is also an executive producer to a sequel of Unbroken which is on the way from the film's original producer, Matt Baer and God's Not Dead Franchise Director Harold Cronk. This sequel will look at the life of hero Louis Zamperini post WWII. The faith-based film – distributed by Pure Flix – is based on the second half of Hillenbrand’s book, portraying Zamperini’s story of forgiveness, redemption, and salvation, and is titled Unbroken: Path to Redemption.

Louis Zamperini passed away on July 2, 2014, but Luke is honored to continue carrying the torch of his father’s legacy. For nearly 50 years, Luke accompanied his father to hundreds of speaking engagements and is thoroughly versed in every aspect of Louis’ incredible story of bravery and survival. His father’s accounts of life as a POW and fighting to survive were Luke’s bedtime stories growing up, and now he is grateful to continue sharing those stories and watching them influence the lives of others.

When Luke Zamperini speaks to audiences about his father, he adds a unique perspective, focusing on how the discipline of athletics, scouting, and education prepared Louis to survive his incredible ordeal at sea, and would subsequently help him to endure cruelty and humiliation as a prisoner of war. He stresses that it was Louis' preparedness that would equip him for his countless ordeals.

For more information, please contact Lauren Youse, director of alumni services and development, at 573-629-3126, or via email at lauren.youse@hlg.edu.