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August 2011

Going ‘Into the Wild’

While the summer winds down, consider grabbing one more book for last beach trips or days at the pool.

This year, incoming freshmen are reading “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer as part of the Freshmen Summer Reading Project. Alumni are encouraged to read the book and be a part of the conversation.

The book, a nonfiction account of how a young college graduate vanished and was later found dead in the Alaskan wilderness, seeks to unravel what caused that man, Chris McCandless, to want to give away all his money, abandon his possessions and lose himself in nature.

“Jon Krakauer constructs a clarifying prism through which he reassembles the disquieting facts of McCandless's short life,” according to the publisher's summary. “Digging deeply, he takes an inherently compelling mystery and unravels the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons.”

The purpose of the summer reading project is to help new students immerse themselves in the academic environment even before they arrive on campus and provide a common experience for them. Students also have the opportunity to meet with a small group led by a faculty member to discuss the book.

Want to feel like a student again? Read the book and then check out the discussion questions to prod your thinking. You might even suggest the book for a book club or gather a group of your alumni friends for a discussion.









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