About the Summer Reading Program

Miami welcomes new students to its community of learning through the Summer Reading Program. In this important tradition, now 28 years old, we underline those activities we value most as a community: critical engagement with ideas; close interaction among faculty, staff, and students; and reading, listening, talking, and learning as characteristics of active, responsible citizenship. We can think of no better way of introducing you to the kind of life you will lead for the next four years than asking you, first, to read a book during the summer and, second, to return to campus in August prepared to discuss it with your fellow students. You will be able to hear the author of this year's text when he or she addresses University Convocation on the eve of your first semester at Miami. University Convocation, a celebratory occasion that includes an academic procession, music, and welcoming remarks from the president of the university and the president of Associated Student Government, marks the formal opening of the academic year.

Pick up your copy of this year's Summer Reading Program text at the University Bookstore during Orientation.Read the book when you return home, try to keep a reader's journal and jot down ideas about the text, and bring the book with you when you return to campus in August. Immediately after Convocation you will join others-- usually from your residence hall -- for a small group discussion of the book with professors, student affairs staff, and returning upper-division students.

Participation in the Summer Reading Program is your first assignment as a university student. Your willingness to take the assignment seriously and to participate actively in group discussions in August may have important influences on your subsequent achievements as a Miami Student.


Past Summer Reading Program Texts
Year Text Program Director Speaker
2008 Jeffrey Bennett, Beyond UFO's Jerry Stonewater Jeffrey Bennett
2007 Dave Eggers , What Is the What Jerry Stonewater Dave Eggers, Alex Pial
2006 Micahel Goldfarb, Ahmad's War, Ahmad's Peace Jerry Stonewater Michael Goldfarb
2005 Lucy Grealy, Autobiography of a Face, Ann Patchett, Truth and Beauty Jerry Stonewater Ann Patchett
2004 Caryl Phillips, Crossing the River Jerry Stonewater Caryl Phillips
2003 Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed William Gracie (ENG) Barbara Ehrenreich
2002 Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried William Gracie (ENG) Tim O'Brien
2001 Sister Helen Prejean, C.S.J., Dead Man Walking William Gracie (ENG) Richard Burr
2000 Shackleton, The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition William Gracie (ENG) Caroline Alexander
1999 LeAlan Jones, Lloyde Newman, David Isay Our America William Gracie (ENG) Jones, Newman, Isay
1998 Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven William Gracie (ENG) Sherman Alexie
1997 Abraham Verghese, My Own Country William Gracie (ENG) Abraham Verghese
1996 Julia Alvarez, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents William Gracie (ENG) JuliaAlvarez
1995 Studs Terkel, The Good War William Gracie (ENG) Doris Kearns Goodwin
1994 Cornel West, Race Matters Karen Schilling (PSY) Cornel West
1993 Scott Russell Sanders, Paradise of Bombs Kay Sloan (ENG) Scott Russell Sanders
1992 Richard Rodriguez, Hunger of Memory William Gracie (ENG) Richard Rodriguez
1991 Jayne Anne Phillips, Machine Dreams William Gracie (ENG) Jayne Anne Phillips
1990 Tim O'Brien, Going After Cacciato William Gracie (ENG) Tim O'Brien
1989 Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon Allan Miller (REL) n/a
1988 Elie Wiesel, Night Allan Miller (REL) n/a
1987 Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale Becky Lukens (ENG) n/a
1986 Robert Persig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Becky Lukens (ENG) n/a
1985 Lewis Thomas, Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's 9th Judith de Luce (CLS) n/a
1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five Richard Nault (HON) n/a
1983 George Orwell, 1984 Peter Williams (REL) n/a
1982 Alan Toffler, The Third Wave Roy Ward (REL) n/a