Nov. 15: The Buried Life asks 'What do you want to do before you die?'

It’s not a rhetorical question to The Buried Life, a collective of four friends who impulsively decided to spend two weeks on the road in a used van, checking items off a list titled “100 Things We Want to Do Before We Die.” The catch: For each item they crossed off, they’d also have to help a stranger accomplish his or her own bucket-list goal.

The friends’ two-week vacation in the summer of 2006 has turned into a six-years-and-counting sensation, spawning a reality show on MTV, a New York Times best-selling book, and a growing social movement that encourages using simplicity, creativity and teamwork to make dreams come true. On Thursday, Nov. 15, the four members of The Buried Life will discuss their ongoing adventures in a Speaker Series event at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. Their multimedia presentation takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the McGarvey Commons of the Reed Union Building; it is free and open to the public.

The Buried Life took its name from a 19th-century Matthew Arnold poem that laments a rich interior life repressed “in the din of strife.” Over two seasons on MTV, the group’s life-list objectives included No. 41: Make a Toast at a Stranger’s Wedding, which they accomplished while also helping a man reconnect with a son he hadn’t seen in 17 years, and No. 74: Help Deliver a Baby. While attempting that, The Buried Life made it possible for a young woman to travel across the country to see her mother’s grave for the first time.

Earlier this year, the men accomplished yet another goal on the list with the release of the book “What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?,” which spent four weeks on the New York Times best-sellers list. The book is a collection of lessons, secrets, stories and artwork collected and curated by The Buried Life’s members as they’ve asked their signature question to millions of people worldwide in person and on their website,

The Buried Life’s Speaker Series appearance is supported by Penn State Behrend’s Student Activity Fee, the Division of Student Affairs and the Harriet Behrend Ninow Memorial Lecture Series Fund. For additional information, contact the Office of Student Activities at 814-898-6171.

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Last Updated October 24, 2012