Purdue selects Colin Beavan's 'No Impact Man' for Common Reading Program

February 20, 2013  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The true story of a man who, along with his wife and baby daughter, turned away from a comfortable New York City lifestyle to live in total concert with the environment has been selected for Purdue's campus-wide reading program for incoming students.

Colin Beavan's "No Impact Man" will be given to each first-year and transfer student who enters the university this fall as part of the 2013-2014 Common Reading Program.

The book will be distributed free of charge during the Summer Transition, Advising and Registration program, known as STAR. International students are provided with an electronic version of the book. Students are required to read the book before they start classes in the fall or arrive for the Boiler Gold Rush undergraduate orientation program.

Beavan will speak on campus during a 3 p.m. event on Aug. 18 in Elliott Hall of Music on campus. The event is open to anyone in the university community with a Purdue identification card. Formal talks and presentations also will be held throughout the year.

"Our goal through the Common Reading Program is to bring students of all disciplines together through a shared academic experience and inspire them to think about and engage in social issues as they begin their journey at Purdue," said Yvonne Smith, associate director of Student Success at Purdue and co-chair of the Common Reading Program.

"No Impact Man" was chosen for the common-reading program by a committee of students, faculty and staff, said Robert Freeman, Reference, Languages and Literatures librarian, and co-chair of the Common Reading Committee

"We strive to find titles that are interesting and relevant to students in all areas of study," Freeman said. "Colin Beavan swore off plastic, turned the power off, used his bicycle for transportation and went organic, among other things, to help the environment. Maybe our Common Reading Program can inspire students to see what they can do for the environment. Or, maybe it will inspire them in some way to make a difference."

Purdue launched the Common Reading Program four years ago to help establish academic expectations and engage students prior to their first day of classes. The yearlong program is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Purdue Libraries, and STAR.

Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, jsbush@purdue.edu

Sources: Yvonne Smith, 765-494-2329, ynsmith@purdue.edu

Robert Freeman, 765-494-7664, rsfree@purdue.edu

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