UNDERGRADUATE ADMISSIONS at WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY in ST. LOUIS

FYRP: First Year Reading Program

Each year a book is chosen for the entire class to read over the Summer as part of the First Year Reading Program. During orientation there is a designated time to discuss the book with a group from your freshman floor.

Last year, for the Class of 2015, the book chosen was The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway. The book provoked much conversation about war, citizenship, love, loyalty, fear, and other great themes between students. My group’s discussion was actually led by a faculty member who was in the American army in the 90’s and present in Saravejo in the aftermath of the siege. He gave us a remarkably detailed account of what happened in Sarajevo.

This year, for the Class of 2016, is the first year that a non-fiction book has been chosen for the FYRP. The book’s name is The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore. It is an account of one story, as it claims, but two fates. The Wes Moore who wrote the book is a decorated veteran, a Rhodes Scholar, and a business leader who discovered another boy that grew up in the same city with the same name, yet a very different destiny. In fact, the other Wes Moore was sentenced to life in prison before he hit his 20s. I look forward to discussing this book (WUSAs get to participate in the FYRP discussions too!) with the WashU freshmen in August.

The most exciting part of this program is that the author Wes Moore will speak about his book on campus later in the semester!