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NPR’s Allison to visit Shepherd

By Staff | Nov 10, 2011

Allison (submitted)

Jay Allison, editor of the essay collection “This I Believe” and moderator of NPR’s “This I Believe” radio program, will present a lecture at Shepherd University in the Frank Center Theater on Tuesday, November 15 at 7 p.m., followed by a book signing. “This I Believe” is this year’s Common Reading selection at Shepherd.

Allison will host a question and answer session at 2 p.m. on Tuesday in the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies auditorium, for those who are participating in the Common Reading essay writing project. A “This I Believe” themed meal will begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Dining Hall.

On Wednesday, November 16, Allison will visit classes and talk with students in the process of writing “This I Believe” essays. All events are free, except for the “This I Believe” dinner which is $8 for those not on the student meal plan.

Community members, students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to write essays to be included in a book at the end of the academic year titled, Shepherd University This I Believe, 2011-2012.

“I think what students have to gain from reading This I Believe essays–or, in fact, what anyone has to gain, is an intense, intimate glimpse into the most important parts of another person’s life,” Allison said. “This I Believe essays are made from the central stories of our experience, the stories that changed or cemented our personal philosophies. They are often close to the bone, risky, and real. The writers were willing to share their stories and convictions with strangers. That’s a gift and powerful to read.”

Allison said that college is a time for discovery and when a person’s character is forming.

“It’s a natural time to examine personal belief, because with new perspectives come change and clarity or perhaps, confusion. This collection of essays can provide some guidance and solace in your discovery just by reading the stories of others who are finding their way,” Allison said. “There are no answers in This I Believe, but the testimony of hundreds of choices. Finally, I strongly recommend you try writing one (or more) yourself. Just sit down and begin to write, even if you don’t know what you want to say. You may be surprised.”

For more information about Allison’s visit, contact Judi McIntyre at 304-876-5396. For news on other Common Reading events, visit the website at www.shepherd.edu/commonreading.