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First and Second Year Experience


First Book


What is First Book?

First Book aims to use a specific piece of literature to explore how the liberal arts is infused into our lives. As students, teachers and staff, we are charged to enrich our own lives and the lives of others through this broad learning foundation of the liberal arts.


What will students get out of it?


A First Year student will learn the importance and value of reading something that includes various ideas, stories, types of learning, and forms of intellectual exploration through a shared intellectual experience.

That experience happens through frequent discussions about the book (no lectures), writing reflections, and learning how to engage with a text.

Take Action.

Students will take purposeful and constructive action based on the issues raised in the book, as well as asking tough questions and defining their own opinions.

Project Series Tie-In.

A panel of professors, staff, and students pick the First Book annually with the Project Series in mind. That means that over the course of an academic year, First Book will have a direct connection to the events, lectures, and cultural activities of the Project Series. Learn more about SAU's Project Series


First Book Selection Criteria
  • First-Year students will find the book interesting
  • Related to the Project Series
  • Written by authors who demonstrate excellence and care in their treatment of and command of written English
  • The author is available to come to campus for a lecture or reading