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Outliers is the Common Reading Program book for the Class of 2018 and transfer students

​​Students in the Class of 2018 and transfer students at Providence College will read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success, during the summer, and discuss it in August when they return to campus for orientation. An essay contest and online discussion will be featured as well.

Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell’s book about the surprising factors that influence successful people, is the Freshman Common Reading Program selection at Providence College.

Students in the Class of 2018 arriving for Summer Orientation between Tuesday, June 17, and Wednesday, June 25, are being given copies of the book to read during the summer. The students will discuss the book in groups when they return to campus at the end of August for Fall Orientation. The book will be mailed to transfer students, who will discuss it at Transfer Orientation. 

Students may participate in an essay contest sponsored by the Freshman Common Reading Program and the Writing Center. They may submit a 500- to 1,000-word essay discussing one of four topics to win cash prizes. The deadline for submissions is August 1.

Students and their parents are encouraged to follow the Freshman Common Reading Program discussion during the summer on the program’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Faculty and staff also will read the book and join in a campus-wide conversation during the academic year about factors that contribute to success. 

In Outliers, published in 2008, Gladwell, a writer for The New Yorker, argues that to understand how people thrive, we should look at their families, where they were born, and even their birthdates. He is a former reporter and bureau chief for The Washington Post and has written five books in all. 

It’s the fourth year that the College has sponsored the Freshman Common Reading Program. Previous selections were Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. 

— Vicki-Ann Downing

 
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