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Provost Summer Read Essay Contest and Author’s Forum September 1, 2015

Dear Faculty,

Thank you for embracing our Provost Summer Read Program featuring The Rise by Sarah Lewis. Because of your thoughtful leadership, more than 1,400 of our incoming first-year students have already participated in discussion sessions, with colleges and departments partnering to launch the fall semester with an intellectual start even before classes began. I especially appreciate those who creatively integrated The Rise into your existing curriculum.

I am requesting your help in encouraging your first-year students to submit an essay that encapsulates their reflections on themes in Sarah's inspiring work. Students who submit a 500-word essay emailed to will have an opportunity to meet and share lunch with her the day she is on campus to speak to the University community.  The deadline for entries is Wednesday, September 16.

Please also encourage all students to attend this forum on Wednesday, September 23 at 12:30 p.m. in Cullen Performance Hall to be inspired by Sarah personally. Students who bring their Provost Summer Read book with them to the forum will also have the opportunity to have it signed by Sarah following her remarks.

I am proud to see our university community working together to engage our students during their first weeks on campus. Each of you leading dialogue and discourse moves us forward in student success. Thank you for your continued leadership and I look forward to joining you and your students to hear our extraordinary author speak later this month.

My best wishes to you for a productive and successful semester.

Warm regards,

Paula Myrick Short