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The Campus Reading

Every new student has something in common – the Campus Reading – a text that all incoming students are invited to read. This reading forms the basis for a community-wide dialogue that begins at the start of the academic year.

The Campus Reading for 2024-2025 is I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times by Mónica Guzmán. The book was chosen by a committee of faculty and students.

In the official announcement, Melissa Gresalfi, dean of residential colleges and residential education, said, “This year, we wanted a book that directly addresses the challenges we have in seeing each other’s viewpoints and responding to each other in a way that maintains our personal integrity and our connections. This is not only imperative for our community during an election year, but also connects with the wider campus efforts through Dialogue Vanderbilt and Open Dialogue. Mónica Guzmán’s book is the perfect tool for these initial conversations.”

All incoming transfer students are invited to explore themes expressed in the book by participating in the Transfer Student Campus Reading Book Club. This optional experience includes reading the book prior to Transfer Student Orientation, participating in a discussion dinner with Dean Gresalfi, and attending the Lawson Lecture wherein the author will be the keynote speaker. All participants will receive a hard copy of the book during the discussion dinner.

To participate in the Transfer Student Campus Reading Book Club, students should RSVP for the discussion dinner here.

With additional questions about the Transfer Student Campus Reading Book Club, please email

Past Campus Readings

  • 2023 – Now is Not the Time to Panic By Kevin Wilson
  • 2022 – Creative People Must Be Stopped: 6 Ways We Kill Innovation (Without Even Trying) By David A. Owens
  • 2021 – When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  • 2020 – The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh