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Academic orientation programs
Academic Orientation Programs

Welcome Week: Common Read

A Distinctive Welcome, A Butler Tradition

For several decades, Butler University had a strong tradition with its common reading program. Each new, incoming class for over 35 years had read a specially selected book that introduced themes and ideas reflecting Butler's values and ideals. The book served as a common intellectual experience for every member of the entering class, regardless of major or college. During Welcome Week, students had the opportunity to meet as an orientation group and, along with faculty and student orientation guides, discuss the book in-depth. The book was also included in First Year Seminar classes as many professors choose to use it as a launching pad for written reflection and class discussion.

No common read was selected for Fall 2019 entering students.


The Fall 2018 selection: 

Enrique's Journey: The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with his Mother

By Sonia Nazario

Enrique’s Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers.


"Only Connect..." The Goals of Liberal Arts Education

An Essay by William Cronon

As you complete the common read assignment, consider, too, what it means to connect...with others, with your community and with education.  The essay, "Only Connect...": The Goals of a Liberal Education, by William Cronon, explores the value and distinction of a liberal arts foundation for a life well-lived.  It is an essay that you will be able to turn to time and again during your academic career at Butler—because the liberal arts are the foundation upon which a Butler University degree is built.  In fact, Butler is committed to providing the highest quality education and integrating the liberal arts with professional education. In our curricular and co-curricular offerings, we create and foster a stimulating intellectual community built upon interactive dialogue and inquiry among students, faculty, and staff.  We hope that you enjoy the essay and heed its recommendations.