The Commons Reading 2013
In his book College, What It Was, Is, and Should Be, author Andrew Delbanco describes the benefits of a core liberal arts curriculum that is required of all students in an institution: “…not least among its benefits, it links all students in the college to one another through a body of common knowledge: once they have gone through the Core, no student is a complete stranger to any other.”
Through the yearly Commons Reading assignment, Vanderbilt faculty extend this idea of common knowledge so that it begins before students even arrive on campus. Each year, one book is chosen by the preceding freshman class for all incoming students to read before move-in day. This year’s selection is Delbanco’s College, which delves into the history of higher education in the United States, illuminates its many greater purposes, and offers thoughts on how it could be better utilized in the modern world.
See the video below for an introduction of the book and the Vanderbilt experience by Frank Wcislo, Dean of the Ingram Commons, and visit the Common Place newsfeed throughout the summer to hear thoughts on this work from the ten Faculty Heads of House.