Campus: CSU, Long Beach -- December 16, 1999

California State University, Long Beach President Wants Students to Read

Cal State Long Beach President Robert C. Maxson is hoping to establish a new tradition with students at the university by sharing book recommendations at the end of each semester and forming small groups at the start of the following semester to discuss what was read during the break.

The idea stems from Maxson's annual "State of the University" address at each fall convocation, at the end of which he recommends to faculty and staff the best books he read during the summer.

Recently, some faculty suggested he share his book recommendations with the students as well. Maxson, a voracious reader always looking to encourage others to read, took it to the next level.

The CSULB president just recommended his first group of books to the campus' 30,000 students, who are about to begin a five-week semester break. Maxson writes a weekly column for the student newspaper, and in this week's column he shares his reading ideas with students. He also gave students his e-mail address and asked students to let him know if they want to participate and, if so, which book or books they area going to read.

Among his recommendations were: Walking with the Wind by John Lewis (a memoir of the Civil Rights Movement); Lindberg by A. Scott Berg (the Pulitzer Prize winning biography of famous pilot Charles Lindbergh); The Loop by Nicholas Evans (a fictional story set in present-day Montana on controversy over reintroduction of wolves into the American West); Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowing (the New York Times bestseller about a neglected boy who proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches); and The Professor and the Madman (the story of W.C. Minor, American Civil War veteran who contributed more than 10,000 words to the Oxford English Dictionary).

When students return in January, they will be invited to join discussion groups that will include Maxson, faculty and any other campus members interested in participating.

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