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'Three Cups of Tea' is ECU's summer reading selection

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (May 22, 2009)   —   A nonfiction work chronicling one man’s mission to change the world one school at a time has been picked by East Carolina University as its “Pirate Read,” summer reading selection for first-year students.

Students are asked to read “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin before arriving on campus in August.

Karen Smith with ECU’s First Year Center said the committee chose “Three Cups of Tea” for its “Pirate Read” based on the book’s message of compassion and leadership.

“We thought it had a lot of the aspects and goals that we have for the freshman class – leadership, global awareness, health and wellness, and service– and ties into the strategic goals that ECU has as well,” she said.

In addition to a panel discussion, the committee has been working to include the book in activities across the campus, Smith said. The work will be required reading for some English 1100 and COAD 1000 (Counselor & Adult Education) classes, and some political science and sociology professors plan to include the book in their coursework for the fall semester. The Volunteer & Service Learning Center is working to incorporate the book into its programming as well, Smith said.

The book has sold more than 2 million copies and has been on the New York Times bestseller list for 119 weeks. Mortenson and Relin worked with Mortenson’s daughter, Amira, to produce in early 2009 two versions of the book for younger readers.

This is the second year that ECU has had a summer reading initiative for first-year students.


Contact: Karen Smith | (252) 328-4173