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Life of the MindTracy Kidder, author of this year’s Life of the Mind book, “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” is on campus today to speak to freshmen.

Kidder will give a lecture and sign copies of his book at 7 p.m. today in the Alumni Memorial Building Cox Auditorium. Although this event is open only to university freshmen, it can be viewed via live webcast at

Also, the top creative responses submitted by first-year students in response to the book have now been chosen and the student winners will be announced at tonight’s event. The Top 10 finalists will join Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek and Kidder for a special breakfast celebration on Friday. In addition, the winner will receive an iPad, four runners-up will receive iPods and five runners-up will receive bookstore gift certificates.

Kidder will spend part of Friday speaking to students in two classes.

Now in its seventh year, the Life of the Mind program encourages all first-year students to read a common book during the summer, submit a creative response and then participate in discussion groups led by faculty and staff during their first week on campus.

“Mountains Beyond Mountains” is the biography of Dr. Paul Farmer, and it features themes that include Haiti, health, poverty, science and religion.