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First Year Reading Experience


The First Year Reading Experience is an opportunity for all new students to bond even before they arrive on campus.

Each year, the incoming class is asked to read a selected text prior to their arrival in August. The author of this text then speaks to new students during New Lancer Days and the content is integrated into the Longwood Seminar course discussion. Copies of the text are available for purchase in the Longwood University Bookstore during Orientation & Registration.


This year's selection for The First Year Reading Experience is     The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore.

Two men named Wes Moore.  Both men grew up in similar neighborhoods in Baltimore, grew up without fathers, and had similar experiences in their childhoods.  With so many similarities, how did one Wes Moore end up currently serving a life sentence in prison and the other became a Rhode Scholar and decorated combat veteran, among many other distinguished honors?

Explore the author’s website and get a copy of the book at the Longwood University Bookstore or on your e-reader to follow the stories of the two men named Wes Moore.


First Year Reading Experience Committee

  • Stacey Wilkerson, Chair, First Year Experience & Family Programs
  • Dr. Bill Abrams, Math & Computer Science
  • Troy Austin, Athletics Director
  • Dr. Amorette Barber, Biology
  • Katie Beals, First Year Experience & Family Programs
  • Jen Cava, Class of 2015, Therapeutic Recreation
  • Jen Cox, Residential & Commuter Life
  • Wade Lough, Art & Graphic Design
  • Dr. Chris McGee, Director of LSEM and Children’s Literature
  • Jordan McWilliams, Class of 2015, Sociology & Criminology
  • Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol, Library
  • Alicia Peterson, Health, Recreation & Kinesiology
  • Bharanivyas Sankar, Class of 2016, Biology
  • Callie Verderosa, Class of 2014, English
  • Hannah Watson, Class of 2014, English



Past First Year Reading Selections



2012-2013 The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Picture of This I Believe II Book

2010-2011 This I Believe II edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman

Picture of Radical Simplicity Book

2008-2009 Radical Simplicity by Jim Merkel

2007 Klan-destine Relationships by Daryl Davis