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Life of the MindFaculty and staff members are invited to sign up to lead Life of the Mind small-group discussions during Welcome Week in the fall.

Next year’s common reading selection is Bill McKibben’s Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. In Eaarth, McKibben pulls no punches in demonstrating the crisis state of our environment, but he also envisions solutions for the planet and our everyday lives that must begin now. Selection of Eaarth was the result of a lengthy process in which the Life of the Mind committee reviewed numerous nominations from the campus community and beyond.  Members selected the book for its rigorous information and grave yet hopeful tone, as well as McKibben’s status. The Boston Globe calls him “probably the nation’s leading environmentalist.”

McKibben will be on campus August 19 to speak to our first-year students as well as members of our university and surrounding Knoxville communities.

The small-group discussions and McKibben’s visit will take place on Monday, August 19. Small-group discussions begin at 4:00 p.m., followed by McKibben’s talk at 5:30 p.m.

Discussion leader training will take place from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 13 and 14. Discussion leaders can attend either session.

To get more information and to sign up to be a discussion leader, visit the Life of the Mind website.

If you have questions, contact Ruth Darling, assistant provost for student success and interim director of First-Year Studies, at 974-3523 or, or Jessie Abernathy, assistant director of First-Year Studies and coordinator of FYS 100 and the Life of the Mind program, at 974-9197 or