First-year Common Reading for the Class of 2021 is Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.

Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), which serves the legal needs of those who are disenfranchised, wrongly accused, and underrepresented. The book outlines some of his cases with the intent to reveal systematic bias and inequality. The book’s themes are summarized in Stevenson’s statement, "The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned” (p. 18). More information about EJI and the book can be found at http://eji.org/just-mercy, as well as this New York Times review article.

The Class of 2021 will receive their books in a summer mailing. During New Student Orientation first-year students will have the opportunity to meet in small groups with other members of the Class of 2021 to discuss the book with professors, staff and upperclass students.

Recent Selections


First-year Common Reading

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Tense and possibly American, you encounter a bearded stranger at a cafe in Lahore. His name is Changez. He left behind a high-flying career and love affair in New York. And night has begun to fall.

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First-year Common Reading

William Powers

Hamlet's BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age by William Powers.

The Class of 2017 was asked to reflect on how their digital lives affect and interact with their actual lives.

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First-year Common Reading

Bucknell University selected The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot as the first-year common reading for the Class of 2016. Students were invited to submit a 1,000 word essay in response to the book.

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