AUBURN – Tracy Kidder, journalist and Pulitzer Prize winning author of “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World,” will present a lecture on Monday, April 2, at 7 p.m. in the Auburn Arena as a part of the Common Book program, Auburn Connects! The event is free to the public.
Tickets for students, faculty and staff with Auburn ID are available at the Auburn University Student Center’s Foy Information Desk. Tickets for the community are available at the Auburn Chamber of Commerce and the Auburn-Opelika Tourism Bureau.
The book, “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” tells the story of Dr. Paul Farmer, anthropologist, physician and a founding director of Partners In Health, an international nonprofit organization that provides direct health care services and carries out research and advocacy activities for some of the most poverty stricken areas of the world.
Kidder’s account takes the reader from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba and Russia as Farmer changes minds and practices through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity.” At the heart of the book is an understanding of the Haitian proverb, “Beyond mountains there are mountains” – as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you continue to solve that one too.
The Common Book program is meant to engage students, faculty, staff and the community in an academically driven experience. A number of Auburn’s freshman classes are integrating the book into coursework and class discussions, including all Learning Community sections.
“Regular Common Book events are held on campus every Thursday afternoon and many faculty have incorporated events and projects into their classes,” said Paul Harris of the university Honors College and a Common Book committee member. “Our goal is to create a Common Book culture on campus, involving students, faculty, staff and alumni.”
“Mountains Beyond Mountains” was chosen based on a list of six goals: to promote intellectual community on campus; to help students gain a global perspective; to promote a culture of service; to emphasize individual empowerment, responsibility and the need for hard work; to help set the stage for intellectual engagement; and to be able to be linked to several types of programming on campus during the academic year.
“We have had a great response by the Auburn faculty as contributors to the program this year,” said Nancy McDaniel, co-chair of the Common Book committee. “Faculty from many disciplines have created presentations related to the themes of ‘Mountains Beyond Mountains’ and presented weekly to students, faculty and the community on topics ranging from health care, agriculture, sustainability and environmental issues, women’s issues, global service opportunities and learning about Haiti through the arts to name a few.”
For more information about the Auburn Connects! Common Book program and additional details about Kidder’s lecture, go to www.auburn.edu/auburnconnects.
(Written by Carol Nelson.)