Campus Life

Summer Reading and Writing Program

The IC Summer Reading and Writing Program is designed to introduce you to the intellectual life of Illinois College. The goals of the program are to stimulate discussion and critical thinking surrounding a current topic, to enhance the connection between students, faculty and staff and to provide a common experience.

Expected of all first-year students, it involves reading and studying a common text over the summer. After reading the text, you will be asked to complete a writing assignment for your first-year seminar course. The writing assignment will help you to crystallize your thinking about a significant issue and then express your ideas in a succinct form to other members of the academic community.
This year's 2015 first-year seminar assignment will be due on Saturday, August 29. If you are a first-year student who would like more information on the required assignment, please contact us at

Burning Bright: Stories by Ron Rash

The IC Connections common reading for 2015 is Burning Bright: Stories by Ron Rash. 
Winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, Burning Bright captures the complexities of Appalachia – a rugged, brutal landscape of exceptional beauty, promise, and suffering that serves as New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash’s muse. Spanning from the Civil War to the present day, Rash’s historical and modern setting are sewn together in a haunting patchwork of suspense and myth, populated by raw and unforgettable characters mined from the landscape.

Summer Readings Over the Years

:: The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore (2014)
:: Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation by Eboo Patel (2013)
:: Listening is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project edited by Dave Isay (2012) 
:: Half of the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by N. Kristof & S. WuDunn (2011) 
:: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (2010)
:: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson (2009)
:: Playing for Time by Arthur Miller (2008)
:: Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama (2007)
:: A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong (2006)
:: Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (2005)
:: Breakfast is Compulsory by Dr. Wallace N. Jamison (2004)
:: The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway (2003)
:: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (2002)
:: Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland (2001)
:: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (2000)

  • Apply Now
  • Visit Campus
  • Deposit Now
search login