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Memoir ‘Educated’ by Tara Westover chosen as All Bonaventure Reads


St. Bonaventure University has selected “Educated: A Memoir” by Dr. Tara Westover as its All Bonaventure Reads (ABR) book for 2018-19.

“Educated” is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

“Committee members have several benchmarks for ABR contenders and ‘Educated’ nailed all of them,” said Jean Trevarton Ehman, chair of the ABR committee. “Within ‘Educated,’ Tara Westover weaves tales of family dynamics, mental illness, grit, the merit of grunt work, self-worth, gumption, and education as a gateway. These topics are fodder for rich freshman-year discussions.”

As part of the All Bonaventure Reads initiative, first-year students at St. Bonaventure will receive a copy of “Educated” during Orientation and be asked to read the book and write an essay reflecting on it as their first college assignment. Students will be engaged in conversations about the book’s themes in their first-year seminar course, SBU 101, and various campuswide events during the upcoming academic year.

“I am excited to use ‘Educated’ in our SBU 101 courses, especially as we examine what it means to be educated in society today,” said Chris Brown, director of First-Year Experience. “We will be able to explore how a college education changes individuals and their communities while encouraging students to reflect on the significant opportunities and privileges they will encounter as students at St. Bonaventure.”

The university will welcome Westover to campus Wednesday, Sept. 26, to deliver a keynote address to members of the Class of 2022. The talk will be open to the public and will be held at 7 p.m. in the Reilly Center Arena.

Westover graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned a Master of Philosophy from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she earned a Ph.D. in history in 2014.

“’Educated’ truly shows the power receiving an education can bestow,” said Ryan Signorino, a journalism major and ABR student representative who is entering his senior year. “One can easily take for granted the chance to attend St. Bonaventure and the opportunities offered here without realizing the impact attending college has on our lives.”

“Educated” is a #1 New York Times Best Seller, and a portion of the book was excerpted in the February 15, 2018, issue of Time Magazine.

Additional campus programming for All Bonaventure Reads 2018 will be announced at as events are confirmed.

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