MTSU's Community Summer Reading Program was created in 2002 under the direction of Laurie Witherow, the Associate Vice Provost for Admissions and Enrollment Services. The objectives of the program are to:

  • provide a unifying experience for the entering class of students,
  • partner with Murfreesboro community organizations,
  • encourage intellectual interaction among students,
  • provide students with the opportunity to read and personally interact with critically-acclaimed authors, and
  • affirm the importance of reading for a successful and fulfilling life.

During CUSTOMS, all incoming freshman students receive packets that include a Summer Reading Guide, information about the author, and a list of course sections using the book selection for the Fall. In its first year, over 100 different course sections from three different academic colleges participated, along with six reading groups from the local community! More than 7,500 people attended last Fall's University Convocation where our guest author was invited to speak.



We are excited to announce that this year’s Summer Reading selection will be For Love of Country, written by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran. The authors honor acts of uncommon valor in Iraq and Afghanistan, including an Army sergeant who repeatedly runs through a storm of gunfire to save the lives of his wounded comrades; two Marines who sacrifice their lives to halt an oncoming truck bomb to protect thirty-three of their brothers in arms; and a sixty-year-old doctor who joins the Navy to honor his fallen son.

These powerful, unforgettable stories demonstrate just how indebted we are to those who protect us and what they have to offer our nation when their military service is done. They recount how veterans make vital contributions upon returning home, drawing on their leadership skills and commitment to service: former soldiers who aid residents in rebuilding after natural disasters; a former infantry officer who leaves the Pentagon to teach in an inner-city neighborhood; a retired general leading efforts to improve treatments for brain-injured troops; and the spouse of a severely injured soldier assisting families in similar positions.

We hope you will plan to join us in welcoming author Rajiv Chandrasekaran as he addresses the incoming class at Middle Tennessee State University as our 16th Summer Reading keynote speaker at this year’s Convocation on Sunday, August 21st at 2pm in Murphy Center.

Past Summer Reading Program Book Selections at MTSU

For more information about the MTSU Summer Reading Program, contact Becca Seul via email at Becca.Seul@mtsu.edu or via phone at (615) 494-8910.