Common Read Book Distribution and 5/11 Workshop

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly will be the Common Read for Fall 2017. Margot Shetterly will be on campus Monday, September 25th to meet with faculty and students during the day and for a public event in the evening.

One change for this year, is a shift in focus from incoming first year students to the entire college community.  We encourage faculty to consider using the book in any of their courses and to invite all students to attend Shetterly’s lecture.  Free copies of the book will be given out the first day of class (August 28th) at the Welcome Picnic to the first 1000 students who request a copy.  Faculty planning to use the book in their course may want to email enrolled students encouraging them to pick up a copy with their campus ID at the picnic. We expect to distribute all 1,000 copies at the Welcome Picnic, so August 28 will be the only time for students to receive a free copy.

The College has purchased copies of Hidden Figures for faculty and staff. They are available now and throughout the summer on a first come, first serve basis at Damascene Book Cellar with your campus ID.

You can participate in the 2017 Common Read by using Hidden Figures in your fall courses or connect themes from the book in your courses.  We are holding a workshop on Thursday May 11th from 3:00-4:00 pm to brainstorm ideas for supplemental programming and ways to use the book in your courses.  Please join us in Craven Lounge of the Morris Conference Center on May 11th (register here).

If you are using Hidden Figures in any of your fall classes, please inform Dan Birnbaum at Damascene ( Dan will have additional books for sale to students who don’t receive one of the free copies, and in order to maintain proper stock levels, he needs to know who has adopted the title.

If you are unable to attend, but have ideas about supplemental programming, please email one of the committee chairs Monica Grau (, Theresa Russo (, Bill Wilkerson (

We are excited about bringing Hidden Figures, Margot Lee Shetterly, and the inspiring story of a group of African American women who were integral to the launching of the American space program to the campus community and discussing it as widely as possible. We look forward to your participation.