What is the New Common Book Program?
The Common Book Program is one of the largest initiatives in University College. Building upon the nationally recognized Summer Reading program, the new initiative expands the previous program into a university-wide initiative focused on welcoming our first-year students into the vibrant intellectual culture of VCU. The Common Book is intended to create the opportunity to explore complex social issues through an interdisciplinary lens. In addition to integrating the book into the Focused Inquiry curriculum of UNIV 111 and UNIV 112, faculty in University College foster partnerships across both campuses and within the broader Richmond community. Students are provided opportunities to explore the real-world application and problem-solving each fall.
How can I get involved?
Each year, a selection committee of faculty, staff, students, and administrators read and review nominated books. A book that is unique to the entering class is chosen and given to each first-year student at New Student Orientation. The entering class of 2021 will receive copies of Dreamland by Sam Quinones. During Welcome Week, you will be assigned to a discussion group and will attend events designed specifically for you. You will also engage with the book in your UNIV courses and have the opportunity to hear the author in the fall semester! University College works with other units on campus and in the community to create events that increase the scope and depth of our understanding of the issues raised by the book. If you’d like to see the kinds of programming we often create, see last year’s page: 2016 Common Book, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. This fall watch the TelegRAM, the Common Book website, and follow us on twitter @VCUCommonBook to see the events programming. To learn more about Dreamland, please visit the extensive Resources Guide, created by our partners in Cabell Library. Both the Cabell and McCaw-Tompkins Libraries have copies of the Common Book to check out to anyone interested in reading and getting involved. We invite you to join us as we read together this fall.