Common Book Project

Virginia Tech Common Book Project



About the Program

The Common Book Project at Virginia Tech was established in 1998 as a means of enriching the first-year experience and creating a sense of community for undergraduate students. Each academic year since the first full-scale distribution in 2000, all incoming students have been given a book to engage them through the lens of shared reading and to provoke conversation among students and their professors.





The Common Book Project encourages students to broaden their personal perspectives through participation in university discourse among faculty and students around a common text.





The goals of the Common Book Project are to

  • Build a sense of community among new students,

  • Encourage intellectual engagement within and beyond the classroom,

  • Stimulate critical thinking, and

  • Foster connection to Virginia Tech's core values.



What We Believe

At the center of the campus of Virginia Tech is the Virginia Tech Memorial. The upper level contains Memorial Court with eight sculptured Indiana limestone pylons representing the core values important in the university: Brotherhood, Honor, Leadership, Sacrifice, Service, Loyalty, Duty, and Ut Prosim (the University motto: "That I May Serve").

The Common Book Committee recommends using these values as the guiding principles for the selection of the Common Book for the next several years and chose "Service" and Ut Prosim as the foundational themes.