Here at home and around the world, people are called to serve their countries, their communities and other missions. Some volunteer, some are drafted, and others find themselves pressed into service by their circumstances.
But what does it mean to serve? Who is compelled to serve and why? And in what ways does it affect those who serve and the people around them?
For the 2014-15 year of Go Big Read, the selection committee for UW-Madison’s common-reading program is seeking a book that fits this theme of service. Both fiction and non-fiction titles are encouraged for submission by students, faculty, staff and members of the community.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank says the theme is an excellent fit for the UW, which ranks among the top five universities for producing Peace Corps volunteers and where students involved in campus organizations and service-learning courses engage in community service projects throughout the year.
The campus is also home to the largest U.S. chapter of Engineers Without Borders, which sends students and engineers around the globe to operate engineering projects for people in need.
“Service is a theme I know our students and campus community will identify with and enjoy reading about,” Blank says. “Go Big Read provides an excellent opportunity for us to come together and learn more about ourselves, one another and the world around us.”
The deadline to submit a title for consideration is Feb. 1. The selection committee is also seeking input from faculty and community experts. The committee will spend a month reading and discussing books before making a recommendation to the chancellor, who will make the final selection.
Nominated books should do one or more of the following: promote enjoyment of reading by being readable, relevant and engaging; incorporate sufficient depth and scope to promote sustained discussion of different points of view; appeal to individuals from a variety of backgrounds; have cross-disciplinary flexibility that can tie into a variety of campus activities and programming.