This year, 31 Cornell alumni classes are inviting their members to take part in what has become an annual rite of passage for incoming students, the Cornell New Student Reading Project.
Begun by Provost Biddy Martin in 2001, the New Student Reading Project was developed as a way to encourage intellectual and social rapport among incoming freshmen. Since its inception, the project's popularity has skyrocketed, and the chosen books have become the subject of required assignments and events for more than 3,000 freshmen and transfer students. Furthermore, the books have formed the inspiration for local high school essay contests and have become the highlight of Ithaca community forums and . New this year 5000 students from 67 high schools in 18 New York State Counties and New York City will read Chinua Achebe's masterful novel Things Fall Apart as part of a statewide pilot program coordinated through Cornell Cooperative Extension and the New Student Reading Project at Cornell.
During orientation week, new students participate in a community-wide discussion panel and small group sessions facilitated by faculty members and current students. If you can't make the trip back to Ithaca for an intimate chat or debate, don't worry! Cornell's offers an online video forum and study room, so that alumni, parents, and friends can participate from anywhere in the world.
Copies of the Cornell University edition of are available at your local library or in bookstores. To see if your class is participating, contact your class officers via .
As part of this celebration, the Center announced the winner of the inaugural Tolkien and Lewis High School Essay Contest for high school students, Lydia Martin. She was flown to the Celebration in Nashville to receive the award and read her winning essay to those attending the Celebration. also presented her with a $500 cash prize.
[…] High School Essay Scholarship Contest in Writing from YAHSP […]
The first annual Shakespeare & Christianity High School Essay Contest judged Lydia Martin’s “Married Virtues: Justice and Mercy as Shakespeare’s Defense against Madness” paper as the winner.