Media Relations

Press Release:


New Freshman Traditions at FAU

                BOCA RATON , FL (June 18, 2007) – Florida Atlantic University is establishing two new traditions for upcoming freshmen.  This year’s class will be the first to experience the Freshman Reading Program and Freshman Convocation.

The Freshman Reading Program will bring the incoming freshman class together with the reading of a common book, connecting them through an interactive experience with their peers, FAU students and faculty. The chosen book is "The Orchid Thief" by Susan Orlean, a 1998 national bestseller set in South Florida.

Freshmen have been invited to join a virtual community during the summer to discuss the book and learn about FAU's resources.   In the virtual community, students will be able to explore and reflect on the meaning and significance of the book, as well as gain valuable information about the FAU community, develop critical reading skills, and “chat” with other incoming and current FAU students.

The culmination of their reading will be the Freshman Convocation, to be held in the Carole and Barry Kaye Auditorium on Sunday, August 26 at 1 p.m. Convocation will feature Susan Orlean as the keynote speaker. She will sign books at a reception at 2 p.m. in the Grand Palm Room of the Student Union.

“We are very excited about the implementation of two new traditions,” said interim undergraduate dean Mary Ann Gosser Esquilin.   “We strived to develop a shared academic experience upon which to build a scholarly community for our first-year students by engaging them in a discussion through a virtual community. We hope to make the experience even more significant with the inaugural Freshman Convocation, marking the beginning of the academic year.”

For more information on the Freshman Reading Program and Convocation,   contact Dr. Mary Ann Gosser Esquilin at 561-297-2126 or


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