‘The Other Wes Moore’ Selected as First-Year Book

ATLANTA — Georgia State’s incoming freshmen will soon have the first reading assignment of their college careers: “The Other Wes Moore” by Wes Moore for the First-Year Book Program.

With the support of Provost Risa Palm, Georgia State’s First-Year Book Committee chose the book that tells the true story about how two kids with the same name, who start out living parallel lives in the same city, can reach different fates.

Both Wes Moores grew up in inner-city poverty and fatherless, underperformed in school and got in trouble with the police. Both struggled to find acceptance, identity and respect in all the wrong places. Yet, the author, Wes Moore, went on to become a Rhodes Scholar and a decorated war veteran. The other Wes Moore ended up serving a life sentence in jail for murdering a police officer.

“The story conveyed in ‘The Other Wes Moore’ will provide students with an opportunity to reflect on how society, education, opportunity, and choice come together to construct a person’s future,” said Allison Calhoun-Brown, GSU’s assistant vice president for student retention. “It is an important book for first-year students to read because each of them will face the influence of these factors as they work to meet their academic and personal goals.”

“The Other Wes Moore” is a New York Times bestseller and has been selected by more than a dozen common reading programs at colleges and universities throughout the country, Calhoun-Brown said.

Students will receive a complimentary copy of “The Other Wes Moore” during the Incept: New Student Orientation, and are expected to read the book before the start of the semester.

The First-Year Book Program focuses on providing freshmen with an introduction to the expectations of higher education and seeks to raise awareness and tolerance of cultural likenesses and differences. The program also aims to provide all incoming students with a common intellectual experience to stimulate discussion, to promote critical thinking, and to develop a sense of community among first-year students, faculty and staff.

Moore, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Johns Hopkins University and a former White House Fellow, now travels the country sharing his story. He will be the keynote speaker at the GSU Freshmen Convocation on Sunday, Aug. 19.

Throughout the fall semester, programs and other events related to “The Other Wes Moore” will continue to be offered across campus. For more information about the First-Year book program and events, visit http://www.gsu.edu/success/first-year_book.html.

May 25, 2012