Common Reading committee seeks suggestions

With the fifth anniversary of SMU’s Common Reading Experience approaching in 2008-09, the Common Reading Selection Committee is looking for the book (or play, or monograph) that the class of 2012 will discuss as part of their introduction to college-level reading. The SMU and Dallas communities, including alumni and nonprofit leaders, gathered to discuss the 2007-08 Common Reading, Nick Hornby’s How to Be Good, in the Hughes-Trigg Theater Aug. 30. Read more.


The Common Reading Experience is an “important way of getting our newest students off to a good start,” says Associate Provost Tom Tunks. As the program enters its fifth year, the reading discussions in small groups of faculty, staff and students “now seem to be an established University tradition,” he adds.

For the 2007-08 reading, How to Be Good, the small discussion groups were augmented by a campuswide discussion in the Hughes-Trigg Theater Aug. 30. The talk was led by a panel that included Janis Bergman-Carton, art history chair; Linda Hall, executive director of the Dallas Interfaith Housing Coalition; Bruce Levy, director of SMU’s Center for Inter-Community Experience; Tom Mayo, director of SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility; and Yesenia Reyes (’95), a former nonprofit leader, now an executive with Accenture. University Honors Program Director David Doyle moderated.

Works of fiction and nonfiction, as well as plays and monographs, will be considered, Tunks says. The committee plans to announce a selection by the end of the fall semester, and an expanded committee will begin work in early spring on recommendations for implementation.

Send your recommendations for the 2008-09 Common Reading to any of the committee members listed below:

  • Diana Grumbles, Chair, English/Rhetoric
  • Patty Blount, Student Member
  • Missy Bryant, Director of New Student Programs
  • Gary Evans, Electrical Engineering
  • Benjamin Johnson, History
  • Mark Kerins, Cinema-Television
  • Pam Lange, English/Rhetoric
  • Catharine Lysinger, Piano Pedagogy
  • Matthew Wilson, Political Science

About Kathleen Tibbetts

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