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Common Read: 2019-2020 Educated: A memoir: Home

Common Reading

The Common Read Program began at Viterbo University in 2018 as an effort to connect all incoming freshman and transfer students through a common book.

The book is:

  • gifted to all first-year and transfer students over the summer (courtesy of the Student Government Association)
  • the subject of the second annual First Lecture during New Student Orientation, and
  • integrated into 2019-20 VUSM 100 Francisan Values and Traditions courses.

2019 Common Read Book

The Viterbo First Year Experience (FYE) Implementation Committee selected Educated by Tara Westover as the 2019 First Year Common Read.

Educated chronicles the life of Tara Westover, born to survivalists in rural Idaho. Westover was born in Idaho in 1986. She received her BA from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned a MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014. Educated is her first book.

Thank to the generosity of the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership, Dr. Westover will be giving a lecture on September 12 from 7-8:30 pm in the Fine Arts Center, Main Theatre.

Questions about the First Year Common Read? Contact Kirsten Gabriel at

Creating Common Ground

"The practice of assigning incoming students to "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."

Peer Review:
Creating Common Ground: Common Reading and the First Year of College