Baldwin City, Kan. — Baker University‘s Common Reading Book program on the Baldwin City campus continues to increase in popularity.

The program, now in its third year, is designed to assist students in their academic transition from high school to college. It provides students the opportunity to share in intellectual exploration through discussion, curricular assignments, reflection and cocurricular programming based on a single book. This year’s common book is “This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women” by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman.

“The common book is definitely becoming a fabric of the first-year experience,” said Cassy Bailey, dean of students at Baker. “Every year we receive more nominations and more interest in the chosen book. I hear students identify their year by what the common book was their first year.”

Students receive a free copy of the book during summer orientation and enrollment days. They arrive on campus in August prepared to discuss the book.

The program immediately connects students to faculty, staff members and peers while allowing the students to reflect on personal experiences that are connected to the book. “This I Believe” was selected primarily because of the arrival of new Baker president Lynne Murray.

“Dr. Murray will share with the freshman class her answer to what she believes,” Bailey said. “The stories share values and guiding principles of the famous and common people. Freshman students will be asked to answer the question of what they believe, which is such an important developmental question.”

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