07/20/14 — Freshman reading assigned at University of Mount Olive

View Archive

Freshman reading assigned at University of Mount Olive

By From staff reports
Published in News on July 20, 2014 1:50 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Conor Grennan's "Little Princes" has been selected as the common reading for the incoming freshmen class at the University of Mount Olive.

The book is an account of Grennan's trip to an orphanage in war-torn Nepal. He soon discovered that the children were not orphans, but rather were taken from their families by child traffickers.

The book is about his efforts to reunite the children with their parents.

Community members, faculty, staff, and students will have a chance to meet Grennan during a lecture and book signing scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. in the Southern Bank Auditorium in Raper Hall.

Those attending can bring a copy of "Little Princes" or purchase one at the event for the autograph session with Grennan immediately following the lecture.

Jackie Hill, chair of the Common Reading Selection Committee and instruction librarian at the university, said the committee started working in November of 2013 and read more than 40 books before making their final selection.

This is the second year that a title has been selected by a committee comprised of faculty, staff and students.

"The book really resonated with the committee," she said. "It is an amazing story of strength, commitment, leadership and compassion told with humor and gravity.

"We believe the story transcends academic disciplines, cultures, and religious backgrounds and will challenge students and faculty to think globally and to look for ways to make a positive impact here or abroad."

"Little Princes" will be purchased by all first-year and transfer students enrolled in Advisement 100.

Faculty members who teach those students will be encouraged to integrate the common reading selection into their curriculum through class discussions and projects.

According to Ms. Hill, the themes that the university plans to explore with students while using the book are human trafficking, leadership, selflessness, the history of Nepal and service to others.

"We are happy about continuing a discussion of the topic of human trafficking that our chaplain, Carla Williamson, began during the spring 2014 semester," she said. "Many local resources are available on the subject of human trafficking that we hope to tap into."

In addition to student engagement, the university is also encouraging faculty and staff to get involved in summer reading groups, many of which will begin meeting this month.