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Common Community Reading

The Catawba Common College Reading Program, started in 2005, is an initiative intended to get you and your fellow incoming first-year students talking about important issues from the minute you arrive on campus. The program affords you an opportunity to participate in and contribute to the intellectual life of the College and provides you with a shared academic experience during Orientation and the first semester.

Themes in the reading are addressed in a variety of contexts: during formal discussion in Orientation, in individual First-Year Seminars, in the community, during informal conversation (with faculty, ALPHAs, coaches, staff, and other students), and in Lilly Center events such as the values and vocation dinner. Thus, the reading provides a common base for discussion among all members of the campus community for the entire year.

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2017 Selection

The Common Community Reading (CCR) for Catawba College, class of 2021, will be Martin Luther King’s 1964 Nobel Lecture: The Quest for Peace and Justice.

Though not entirely forgotten, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Lecture is one of his less-remembered works. We believe Dr. King’s message more than 50 years ago retains considerable relevance for students entering Catawba in the fall of 2017. In reading and discussing this work, students will examine whether we have addressed the symptoms of our “spiritual and moral lag” he identifies in 1964, and also consider the new challenges additional technological advancements over the past half-century place in the path of progress for mankind. This lecture also calls us to consider our individual goals in life. Finally, this work offers strong evidence for the value of a well-rounded liberal education as his arguments are supported throughout by ideas drawn from previous works across disciplines, cultures, and eras in human history.   

  • Read/Hear the Lecture (Formats: Audio and Transcript; Traditional Lecture/Speech)
  • Study and Reading Guide - TBA


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