2014 theme

The faculty has chosen Leadership as the theme for the common reading for 2014. We have assembled a variety of texts - essays, images, poems, historical non-fiction and a video - that are available to each new student once they have established their Cornell computer account. You will have the opportunity to read and reflect on the materials and discuss your reflections with some of your class mates and your academic advisor during your group advising session during New Student Orientation.

Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak on presidential leadership during the college's opening convocation during term one. The non-fiction component of the common reading selection is a chapter from her most recent book.

Read or examine

Download at least one item from each category listed under the Common Reading link to the left.


Consider the following questions:  

What do these documents and images say about the nature of leadership? What different visions of leadership do these images/documents offer? What is leadership?  How do these documents and images support or challenge your definition of what it means to lead or to be a leader? What lessons on leadership does the 20th century provide for us today? 


Write a 400-500 word essay or record a 3-5 minute response to one or more of the above questions.  Refer to examples from your chosen documents and images in your response.

E-mail your response to Gwen Schimek, Assistant Dean of Students. She will see that your academic advisor receives your work. Make sure you send your response by Friday, August 15th.