Uncommon Reading

And now for something a little different: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.

The common reading for the Class of 2009 is an unusual work: spiritual science fiction. Itís about a Jesuit mission to the nearest inhabited planet, and how the explorers try to follow the Prime Directive (for those who remember Star Trek), and how a simple act becomes the key element in ecological and, eventually, first-contact tragedy.

By training, Russell is a paleoanthropologist, and her expertise shows in the way she draws the social structure and physical details of the inhabitants of Rakhat, as she calls the planet in the Alpha Centauri system (which will be our first contact, by the way, as itís the closest star system to ours).

She also was raised as a Catholic, and this is evident in the moral and religious questions she raises in this inner as well as interplanetary journey.

Russell will visit campus this weekend for orientation. Sheíll discuss her book and take questions from the audience at 1:30 p.m. Sunday in Foy Hall. She will also meet with first-year students for a small-group discussion.

August 23 , 2005

While You Were Away:
Repairs and construction projects completed over the summer.

Uncommon Reading:
Freshman common reading, Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow.

Heck’s Angels:
Economics professor Peter von Allmen and friends bike around Lake Champlain.

Pen Pals:
Lebenfeld Prize, student writing award-winners.

Datebook:
Campus calendar.
Gaudeamus:
Faculty/staff/student accomplishments.