Each year, our common read selection introduces new V-Hawks to intellectual life at Viterbo University. As part of your first-year seminar, you will engage with one common book in which an author shares their personal story of struggle, turmoil, and success as they grapple with broader social issues of their time. You also attend one common read event, which allows you to participate in a whole-campus conversation.
This fall, you will find yourself in a classroom exploring questions about identity, values, and the purpose of a college education. One of the primary texts all first-year students will use to consider these questions is Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality by Danielle Allen. This reading guide reflects the types of questions you will be asked to ponder, discuss, and write on in your first weeks as a Viterbo student. During this summer of transition, we hope this book and guide will help you understand the way the stories of our past can help us heal the wounds of our present. Pax et Bonum!
Download the Our Declaration Reading Guide Below
The practice of assigning incoming students “common reading”—asking them to read the same book before they arrive on campus—has gained popularity in recent years as colleges and universities have sought new ways to improve the first-year experience. Like similar public reading initiatives sponsored by cities, libraries, and television and radio shows, campus common reading programs rest on a simple idea: that reading the same book brings people closer together as a community by creating common ground for discussion.