The free event on Oct. 5 will allow all UofSC students to hear from the author of this year’s First Year Reading Experience book.
After reading Tara Westover’s No. 1 New York Times best-selling book, Educated, as part of the 2021 First Year Reading Experience, University of South Carolina students will now have the opportunity to hear Westover’s story first-hand. On Oct. 5 at 7 p.m., Westover will participate in an interview-style speaking engagement at the Koger Center for the Arts where she will discuss her tumultuous journey to obtain an education.
“We are so excited to have Tara Westover coming to campus this fall,” says Sandra Kelly, a vice provost at South Carolina who coordinates the First Year Reading Experience. “When we selected Educated as the 2021 First Year Reading Experience book, our committee knew that it’d provide an extremely valuable and engaging reading experience to our incoming freshmen class. This event offers an opportunity for students to further that educational experience and to hear from the author first-hand about her journey.”
Westover grew up in a small town in Idaho, with parents who were against public education. She was 17 years old before she participated in classroom learning. However, she went on to graduate magna cum laude from Brigham Young University and then earned a Master of Philosophy and a doctorate in history from Trinity College, Cambridge. Educated, her first book, was published in 2018 and depicts her personal journey. It has received numerous recognitions, including being named the Nonfiction Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association and one of the New York Times’ 10 Best Books of 2018.
The First Year Reading Experience started at South Carolina in 1993 to build community on campus through a shared reading. This year, Educated was distributed to thousands of incoming freshmen at the university. It is being discussed within many U101 classes this fall and serves as a pillar of common learning and experience among UofSC’s freshman class.
This event is free for all attendees and open to UofSC students, faculty, staff and their guests. Seats are first-come, first-serve, and the event is expected to run for one hour. Attendees will be required to wear masks within the Koger Center for the duration of the event.