WSU Common Reading book nominations open Tues., Sept. 1, 2015 for 2016-17 academic year

PULLMAN, Wash.—Read a good book lately that ties to themes of leadership and social justice? You might want to nominate it to be the 2016-17 book used by all students taking first-year classes, announces the Washington State University Common Reading Selection Committee.

Nominations of books that express those themes will be accepted starting Tues., Sept. 1 through Thurs., Oct. 15, 2015. More information is at Submissions can be made using the linked online form, or by copying the questions on the nominations page into an email and sending it to with answers. Recommendations are welcome from everyone both inside and beyond WSU.

“The next academic year—2016-17—marks the tenth anniversary of the Common Reading on campus, and in preparation for that, we introduced this fall the concept of a two-year Common Reading Theme,” says Susan Poch, co-director of the Common Reading Program and assistant vice provost. “Both subjects—leadership and social justice—are evidenced very well in this year’s book, Just Mercy: A Story of Injustice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson. The theme also ties to the university’s “grand challenges” topics that are being developed and which will create the framework for WSU’s research agenda for the next five years.

“We hope to receive many nominations for next year’s book that approach the leadership and social justice theme in ways that help students, faculty, and staff think broadly about the themey, and that also inspires our extensive campus programming around topics from the book.”

All of the WSU campuses will use the nominations list to choose books for each campus, linked through the theme, adds Karen Weathermon, program co-director and director of WSU First-Year Experience and its First-Year Focus program.

As in previous years, interdisciplinary members of the cross-campus selection committee will read and evaluate each book nominated. After narrowing the list down to a handful of titles, they will ask the university provost—as the top academic administrator—to make the final selection.

Poch says the committee plans to have that short list in hand in December.

The Common Reading Program is designed to engage faculty and staff members, first-year students, and others in dialogue around a single book. Departments, programs, residence halls, and organizations on campus align presentations by expert speakers, events, film showings, and more around the book. As in past years, this year’s author will deliver the Common Reading Invited Lecture at a public address.

Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, will deliver a free public lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tues., Dec. 1, 2015 in Beasley Coliseum.

MEDIA: Susan Poch, WSU Common Reading Program co-director, 509-335-6037,

Beverly Makhani, WSU Undergraduate Education communications director, 509-335-6679,