July 24, 2012
To members of the Class of 2016,
Welcome to the WLC community! On behalf of the faculty of Wisconsin Lutheran College, I would like to take this opportunity to send you an early welcome. The faculty members are pleased that you have chosen to join us this fall, and we look forward to assisting you in your spiritual, academic, and social journey.
College is about learning - and reading. One of our goals as a faculty is to help you develop a love for reading and the confidence that you can critically evaluate what you have read, and then apply it to your life and work.
Common Freshman Summer Reading Text
With that in mind, each summer we ask incoming freshmen to read a common text. The book selected this year is Things Fall Apart by Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic Chinua Achebe.
The novel depicts the life of Okonkwo, a leader and local wrestling champion in Umuofia. Okonkwo is a wealthy and respected member of the Umuofia clan of the Ibo people of Nigeria in the late 1800s. He seems to have everything: he has broken away from the weakness and disgrace of his father and is now a successful farmer with three wives and a position of leadership in his community. However, Okonkwo has difficulty controlling his temper, and one outburst of violence leads to his family’s banishment from their village for seven years. But that’s only the beginning of things falling apart for Okonkwo. While he’s away from his village, Christian missionaries from Europe arrive, bringing their own ideas about religion and life to the Ibo people. When Okonkwo finally returns, will his village be a place he can recognize, or will the missionaries have imposed on it a new culture beyond his understanding?
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is available online through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and other major book distributors (Anchor Books, ISBN 9780385474542). Used copies and eBook versions are also are available.
We ask that you read this text BEFORE arriving for Orientation in August. The book will be infused into course assignments, discussions, and programming throughout the year. We hope you have a blessed summer, and we look forward to meeting you and discussing your insights regarding Things Fall Apart during the coming year. Please bring your copy of the text with you so that you can refer to when discussed in class.
Dr. Erbe, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and I look forward to welcoming you to WLC during W.O.W. weekend, beginning August 24.
Dr. David Brightsman
Dean, College of Professional Studies
Wisconsin Lutheran College