Summer Reading Program co-author headlines Aug. 21 MTSU Convocation

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Rajiv Chandrasekaran

More than 3,000 new MTSU students who have participated in the 2016 Summer Reading Program will finally get to meet one of the book authors.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran will be keynote speaker for the University Convocation, the official start of the 2016-17 academic year, at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, in Murphy Center. The event is open to the public.

Convocation is designed to welcome new students into the learning community and to immediately engage them in the learning process, said Dr. Deb Sells, vice president for Student Affairs and vice provost for Enrollment and Academic Services.


"The foundation for this effort is the Summer Reading Program, through which each new MTSU student is required to read a common piece of literature prior to his or her arrival on campus," Sells said.

Chandrasekaran and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz co-wrote "For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism and Sacrifice."


A San Francisco, California, native, Chandrasekaran became senior vice president for public affairs at Starbucks and executive producer of the company's social impact media initiatives in 2015.

Chandrasekaran is a former senior correspondent and associate editor with The Washington Post. In addition to covering Afghanistan for most of a decade, he also was the Post's bureau chief in Baghdad, Cairo and Southeast Asia.

"Ten short essays highlight stories of valor, leadership and courage as displayed in vignettes of life while in service and upon return to civilian life," Sells said of the book.

She said faculty will find "creative ways to utilize either single essays or the whole book in classes that our newest students will be taking."

Sells added the book should be especially appropriate for classes in speech, English, political science, military science, journalism, philosophy, University 1010 or any course in which students may select a topic for writing or speaking assignment.

Faculty will wear their academic regalia, and Sells said feedback regarding the formal attire "is overwhelmingly positive, and the presence of the faculty in their regalia is often noted as a highlight of the event." She notes students and their families are well aware they will not see regalia again until the student completes the degree and walks across the stage at graduation.

Following Convocation, all students and their families and faculty are invited to attend the annual President's Picnic in the concourse areas under Floyd Stadium.

Fall classes begin Monday, Aug. 22.


To find parking near Murphy Center, visit

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