If you are having any difficulty using this website, please contact the Help Desk at Help@nullHofstra.edu or 516-463-7777 or Student Access Services at SAS@nullhofstra.edu or 516-463-7075. Please identify the webpage address or URL and the specific problems you have encountered and we will address the issue.

Skip to Main Content
Common Reading 2017

May 2017

Dear First-Year Student:

On behalf of President Stuart Rabinowitz and the entire Hofstra community: Greetings, and welcome to Hofstra University. You are about to join a vibrant, engaged, diverse community, with opportunities ranging from clubs, concerts, and athletics to internships and all the cultural events the New York metropolitan area has to offer. First and foremost, however, we are an academic community. At Hofstra, not only will you pursue subjects that already interest you, but our faculty will also spark your interests in new directions.

We use our summer orientation program to give you a taste of the kind of excitement you will experience this fall in a Hofstra classroom. To that end, we are asking all first-year students to read the Class of 2021 Common Reading: The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery (2015) by Sarah Lewis. When you come for orientation this summer, you will participate in a “model class” discussion of the book, together with about twenty of your peers and a Hofstra faculty member.

In her book, Lewis, a celebrated art historian, curator, and teacher, makes the case that often one’s greatest achievements are, at their core, corrections after failed attempts. Using case studies about the endeavors of athletes, painters, writers, choreographers, inventors, and even arctic explorers, Lewis illustrates that the most valuable lessons learned from one’s achievements arrive from the unexpected twists and turns along the path to mastery.

To get started, visit the Common Reading website: hofstra.edu/commonreading. There, you can view video clips of Hofstra faculty and students talking about the book, and I encourage you to share your own thoughts about the book. I also encourage you to enter the essay contest, which you can read more about on the Common Reading website.

If you have questions about the Common Reading or about New Student Orientation, please call (516) 463-4874 or send an e-mail to orientation[at]hofstra.edu.

I look forward to meeting you this fall.

Gail M. Simmons, Ph.D.
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs