VILLANOVA, Pa. – What determines the trajectory a life takes? Does it come down to chance, circumstance, fate? Or do the choices we make, large or small, determine our destiny? Wes Moore, whose book, The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates, was chosen as this year’s selection to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Villanova University’s One Book Villanova program, will address those questions during a Sept. 25 visit to the University’s Main Campus.
The author’s visit, which coincides with the opening of the University’s annual St. Thomas of Villanova Celebration, will begin with a One Book Community Dinner honoring the author. The dinner, which features cuisine inspired by the book, will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Dougherty Hall. A limited number of tickets are available online at villanovatix for $10. The culminating event, Moore’s presentation, will begin at 7 p.m., in The Pavilion. Doors will open at 6 p.m.. Tickets are not required. A reception open to the public will follow the author’s presentation.
The Other Wes Moore follows the fascinating parallel life journeys of two young men with the same name, born one year and several blocks apart. The at turns heart-wrenching and inspirational memoir examines how the pair, growing up in shared circumstances made different choices that destined one to become a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, business leader, and best-selling author – the other sentenced to life in prison.
“The Other Wes Moore is the perfect book to celebrate the 10th anniversary of One Book Villanova,” said Teresa Nance, assistant vice president for Multicultural Affairs and a One Book Villanova committee chair.
“From the very beginning we wanted to engage the community in thoughtful conversation about topics that mattered. This books talks about poverty, education, and the indomitable spirit of an incredible young man.”
“The author Wes Moore wants his work to serve as a catalyst for service. Mentors made a difference in his life and Moore believes it is possible for each of us to make a difference in the lives of another. This is the kind of challenge only a really good story can leave with its readers,” Nance said.
Moore’s emphasis on service meshes perfectly with the University’s dedication to this ideal. His presentation, in addition to being a highlight of the One Book 10th anniversary celebration, has been designated as this year’s St. Thomas of Villanova Lecture. The lecture kicks off the University’s annual St. Thomas of Villanova celebration which includes a full slate of events throughout the weekend, the capstone of which is the University’s St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service on Sept. 27.
One Book Villanova is a distinctive educational program that engages all segments of the campus community – students, staff and faculty – in activities presented throughout the academic year which explore dominant themes presented in a selected book. Copies of The Other Wes Moore were distributed to the student body in the spring.
Discussion groups, public readings and special events will enliven and extend the campus community’s examination of The Other Wes Moore throughout the academic year.
Details about the author’s visit, the One Book Villanova program, and additional future events open to the public are available on the University’s One Book Villanova Website.
Other selections featured since the One Book Villanova program began in 2005 include The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni, Blood Done Sign My Name by Timothy Tyson, Left To Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji, The Unforgiving Minute by Craig Mullaney, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford , Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan and Good Kings, Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum.
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.