James Mcbride (26 bytes)
The Color of Water
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May, 2000

Dear Entering Student:

It is my pleasure to inform you of an important and interesting educational program, the New Student Forum, in which you will participate before classes begin in the fall. On Wednesday, August 30, as part of the President's Convocation, some of our most distinguished faculty will join the entire incoming class of '04 to discuss The Color of Water, by James McBride. I am certain you will find it a compelling book to read before you arrive at Brandeis.

The evening will begin immediately after dinner with your meeting one of our faculty for a group discussion that will explore the themes and questions raised by the book. You will then go to Spingold Theater to meet with Mr. McBride. He will discuss the book's origins and its impact, and he will also answer questions from the audience and be available to talk to individual students once the formal part of the program has ended.

This is the ninth year in a row that we will be holding such a class-wide meeting. Our hope is that an early and lasting sense of intellectual community will be generated by bringing the entire first-year class together, and that the presence of some of our most distinguished faculty members will provide you with a sense of belonging to a special university dedicated to humanistic studies.

We hope that you will approach the reading in the spirit in which it is intended: as a moment to experience the pleasures of learning, and as a springboard toward awakening in yourself the passion to join with faculty and your fellow students in a search for insight and understanding, wherever that search may take you. In the fifty-second year of Brandeis University's founding and the first year of a new millenium this seems like an ideal way to welcome you to a university named for the great Supreme Court Justice who devoted his life to improving the human condition.

The enclosed copy of The Color of Water is a gift of the University. I wish you a relaxing summer and look forward to welcoming you to Brandeis at the end of August.

Yours Sincerely,

Jehuda Reinharz

P.S. Our Office of Academic Affairs has created a web site devoted to the New Student Forum. If you are interested in learning more about The Color of Water I invite you to check it out.

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