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Reading Seminar returns next spring

Drs. Betsy Morgan and Van Weigel have teamed together this upcoming Spring semester to create a student-led class. The class, INST480D or “Reading Seminar,” will be offered on Wednesday nights in the Gryphon Café, and the students pick the books covered.

In 1991, Drs. Morgan and Weigel, along with coworker Peter Genco, began to develop the Reading Seminar as an Honors reading class. It later became a Capstone class and was offered to all students. When Capstone courses were dropped from the curriculum, the class became INST480D, an elective available to all students.

The purpose of the class, according to Dr. Weigel, is to meet informally with students to talk about issues through student-led presentations. During finals week of fall semester, the students and the professors choose books and films to discuss during the semester. Sometimes a theme is picked. Students choose books based on what their interests are.

Some of the themes discussed in the past have been Islam, world religions and the battle between good and evil. Books varied immensely over the years, and one of the most surprising picks for Dr. Weigel was “The Kite Runner.” “I feel sometimes that I’m as much the student,” Dr. Weigel said.

Having never read the book, Dr. Weigel was surprised at how much of an impact it had on him. The class, he said, “is just a wonderful opportunity to broaden my horizons.”

This class opens up many opportunities for students who decide to take it. Bringing together students who have different ideas and beliefs encourages the creative thought that this class will hopefully foster.

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