Incoming first-year and transfer students will join their peers in reading “The Other Wes Moore” by Wes Moore in the seventh year of the Common Read program.
Included on bestseller lists by both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, “The Other Wes Moore” presents the true story of two young men, born just blocks from each other, who share the same name, a difficult childhood, and trouble with the law.
Though they share many similarities in their early lives, one Wes Moore becomes a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran and successful business leader, while the other Wes Moore is serving a life sentence in jail for murder. Alternating between the stories of these two men, “The Other Wes Moore,” explores the unique circumstances and personal decisions that culminated in two very different outcomes.
The selection of “The Other Wes Moore” provides an opportunity to engage incoming students in meaningful conversations about issues of community, mentoring, our life circumstances and the choices we make.
The Common Read program supports new students with their transition to college. Each incoming student will receive a customized UMass Amherst version of the book when they attend their New Students Orientation (NSO) session during the summer. International students and students who are unable to attend summer NSO will receive their copy of the book at orientation in September.
The shared experience of Common Read intentionally engages students in connecting with their peers, faculty and staff, introducing them to the intellectual culture of our campus community and helping them reflect on significant topics they will be discussing throughout their time at UMass Amherst.
“The Other Wes Moore” was selected through a robust and collaborative selection process involving students, faculty, and staff. Drawing from many books nominated by the campus community, the book selection committee narrowed the field down to four finalists. These finalist books were read and reviewed by students, faculty and staff. Based on its exceptional fit with the chancellor’s Common Read themes of community, connection and active engagement, “The Other Wes Moore” received final approval from the chancellor, provost and vice chancellor for student affairs and campus life.
Author Wes Moore will visit campus and deliver a keynote talk on Thursday, Sept. 28.