Award-winning memoir is summer reading

The book's cover features a photo of Walls as a child.

The book's cover features a photo of Walls as a child.

SALEM, Va. - Roanoke College will mail out nearly 650 copies of the award-winning memoir, "The Glass Castle," to incoming freshman and transfer students, who will read it before arriving on campus in August. The book, by former MSNBC columnist Jeannette Walls, will be the focus of small group activities during Orientation.

This is the fourth year the College has selected a summer reading book. A panel of 10 faculty, administrators and students chose the memoir from an initial list of 30 books. According to panel member Dr. Bill Tenbrunsel, associate dean and director of Roanoke College's Center for Learning and Teaching, the number one criterion for choosing a book is that "it must be a page-turner. It also has to be something students can relate to."

Roanoke College is one of a growing number of colleges that assigns a summer reading book to its new students. The intention is that incoming students will be introduced to the intellectual life of the college and share a common experience with the campus community. Well over 100 faculty and staff members have picked up copies to read, with more expected to do so, according to Dianne Eary, assistant to the dean of academic affairs.

Previous summer reading selections include "Mountains Beyond Mountains," by Tracy Kidder; "Persepolis," by Marjane Satrapi; and "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time," by Mark Haddon.

Roanoke College, an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a classic, undergraduate setting. Roanoke prepares students for their futures through its commitment to providing a true classic college experience. Roanoke is one of just 276 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast."

For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.

Released: July 1, 2008
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