One book program to unite University

Oscar Abello

This year the university inaugurates “One Book Villanova,” a campus-wide program to engage every member of the Villanova community in the reading and discussion of an important contemporary book.The selected reading is Khalid Hosseini’s The Kite Runner. Nationally renowned by college students, the book will be distributed at no cost to every undergraduate at Villanova. The program is unique in that there is no compulsory aspect whatsoever. “We’re not going to command you to read it,” remarked Dr. Terry Nance. “We want to make you want to read it.”The Program Committee is Co-Chaired by Dr. Terry Nance, Asst. Vice President for Multicultural Affairs; and Falvey Library Director Joe Lucia. The committee consists of eighteen members from all parts of the university, including faculty from all four undergraduate colleges; as well as members from the sponsoring offices: The Office of Multicultural Affairs, Falvey Memorial Library, Honors Program, English Dept., VQI and The Office of Student Development. Committee members spent last fall and spring selecting an appropriate and provocative reading.The program is modeled after a similar University of Maryland program focused on first-year students. After attending a conference at UMD, Dr. Nance, Walidah Justice of Multicultural Affairs, Charisma Presley of Residence Life and Honors Program Director Dr. Edwin Goff decided that such a program would benefit Villanova’s entire community by stimulating intercultural awareness and dialogue.”In order to stimulate real dialogue, you need a common medium,” said Nance. The One Book Program provides that needed medium. Nance continued, “How cool would it be if the lady putting potatoes on your plate in the pit has something real to talk to you about?”In order to engage the entire community, efforts will be made to ensure everyone would have an opportunity to experience the book. Live dramatic readings of chapters are being planned. On December 4, St. Mary’s Chapel will host a one-man show based on the book. The author himself will be welcomed to campus on February 7 to discuss the book among students, faculty, and staff. The Lower Merion Public Library will host events about the book for the surrounding community, as will The Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church for interested members of its congregation.”I can’t tell you how important it is for us to communicate with everyone-dining services, students, grounds crew, faculty, everyone.” Nance remarked. “The whole campus is living and learning together as one community in the Augustinian Tradition, and this program is a paradigm of that tradition.”The program kicks-off September 28 with an opening gala and initial distribution of books. For more information, contact Falvey Library or the Office of Multicultural Affairs in Dougherty Hall.