The arrival of New York Times bestselling author Tara Westover to the Sam Houston State University campus on Sept. 25 will kick-off the 2019-2020 Common Reader Program.

Westover will arrive in Huntsville at 6 p.m. for a meet and greet and will answer questions about her novel, “Educated: A Memoir” at 7 p.m. She will be interviewed by SHSU Assistant Professor of History Benjamin Park in the LSC Orange Ballroom. Wristbands for the event will be available at the LSC Orange Ballroom beginning at 5:30 p.m. and doors will open at 6 p.m. Alumni can request tickets through the Alumni office at

“Educated” portrays the journey of a young woman who is determined to change herself. The memoir is an example of things humans can achieve if they set their minds to it.

This year’s Common Reader has been distributed to over 3000 new students during Bearkat freshman and transfer orientations and an additional 1000 books have been distributed to those interested in participating in class projects, or outside of class events and scholarships. To date, more than 60 classes have officially added the book to their curriculum and many offices on campus have adopted it as a book club read.

“We have been visiting classes to talk about event and contest opportunities and to give free t-shirts to students who have read the book. The t-shirt proudly proclaims, ‘I Read the Book!’” Kay Angrove, director of First-Year Experience and Student Success Initiatives said.

The Common Reader program will also facilitate faculty, staff and student led discussions of the book’s themes through a series of presentations, contests and events the week of Nov. 4-7.

The mission of the SHSU Common Reader Program is to create a shared academic/intellectual experience, facilitate a campus-wide cross-disciplinary conversation and enhance the community of students, faculty and staff.

For a complete list of events scheduled please visit

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