To the City College Community,
I’m pleased to announce the third annual “Community Read” project at CCNY. Our project is an effort to pull the entire CCNY community, including our partner organizations throughout Harlem, together around an effort to read, and discuss, a work that carries particular significance to our campus, especially in these difficult times. Conceived initially as a way to welcome new students to the college by engaging them in a joint exploration of a text, we are happy to include anyone on campus who would like to join.
Once again, the selection committee worked diligently over the past months to select an appropriate work, and I am happy to say that they have made an inspirational selection. After reviewing dozens of nominated books, the committee decided to adopt The Book of Delights, written by Ross Gay, a poet and faculty member at Indiana University who took on the project of disciplining himself to observe the world around him closely to identify things that provide him with delight. While his essays often consider matters such as the complexities and problems of modern life, racial inequality in the United States, and illness, they insistently return to a practice that affirms our connections with each other and the resilience of the human spirit.
As part of the project, we are thrilled to announce that Professor Gay has agreed to serve as the keynote speaker at this year’s Freshman Convocation, giving our campus community the opportunity to discuss his essays.
The committee that worked on this selection process put in many hours, sifting through recommendations, weighing the merits of one work against another, and thinking deeply about what kind of a conversation they wish to convene. All of us at CCNY will benefit from your careful review of these works and each of you have my gratitude for your hard work and wisdom.
New students who attended the College’s orientation program have already received complimentary copies of The Book of Delights. Continuing students, faculty, and staff who would like to receive a copy can pick one up while supplies last in NAC 5/225—the offices of the Division of Humanities and the Arts.