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First Year Reading Experience


The First Year Reading Experience is an opportunity for all new students to bond even before they arrive on campus.

Each year, the incoming class is asked to read a selected text prior to their arrival in August. The author of this text then speaks to new students during New Lancer Days and the content is integrated into the Longwood Seminar course discussion. Copies of the text are available for purchase in the Longwood University Bookstore during Orientation

The 2016 First Year Reading Experience book is Tension City by Jim Lehrer!

"Jim Lehrer is the avuncular, even-keeled executive editor and anchor of "PBS NewsHour" who has moderated 11 of the nationally televised presidential and vice-presidential debates. As a journalist and as a moderator, Mr. Lehrer tells us he attempts to play it straight down the middle, always aware that he and his opinions are never the story and never should inform the questions he asks." - John R. Coyne Jr, Washington Post

For more information on the author, Jim Lehrer, visit http://www.pbs.org/newshour/author/jlehrer/

For a review of Tension City please visit https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/jim-lehrers-tension-city-inside-the-presidential-debates-from-kennedy-nixon-to-obama-mccain/2011/09/06/gIQA1OaUVK_story.html



First Year Reading Experience Committee

  • Dr. Bill Abrams, Department of Math and Computer Science
  • Troy Austin, Department of Athletics
  • Dr. Amorette Barber, Department of Biology
  • Jen Cox, Residential and Commuter Life
  • Rachel Dodd, Assistant Director of First Year Experience & Family Programs
  • Davis Gammon '16, History and Political Science Major
  • Wade Lough, Department of Theatre, Art, and Graphic and Animation Design
  • Dr. Chris McGee, Director of LSEM and Department of English
  • Kelsey Monk '16, Communications Studies Major
  • Alicia Peterson, Department of Health, Athletic Training, Recreation and Kinesiology
  • Justin Pope, Office of the President
  • Bharanivyas Sankar '16, Biology Major
  • Stacey Wilkerson, Director of First Year Experience & Family Programs

Past First Year Reading Selections

2014-2015 The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore

2012-2013 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Picture of This I Believe II Book

2010-2011 This I Believe II edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman

Picture of Radical Simplicity Book

2008-2009 Radical Simplicity by Jim Merkel

2007 Klan-destine Relationships by Daryl Davis