Recently in Graduation Book Category

Earlier this month, after four years of hard work and months of dedicated research to their senior theses, Rebecca Brophy, Eileen Fresta, Zanya Stephenson, and Labanya Mookerjee graduated from Penn State Brandywine, stepping into the bright opportunities that 2013 will bring forth.

Each of these students successfully fulfilled all of Penn State University's general requirements, along with the required coursework and research for the honors program.

We wish them all the best in their future endeavors!


Spring 2010 Vairo Selection

Diane Paolo (May 2010, Business major) selected Richard Branson's Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur. Diane explains why:

This book is great, especially for business majors. Sir Richard Branson demonstrates that business and entrepreneurship is creative, fun, and fascinating. In this book, Branson takes the reader on a personal tour of how he built the Virgin brand from a student newspaper at the age of 16 to the global multi-billion dollar enterprise that it is today. Branson is a man of vision and action--what he thinks, he does. It's an exciting ride from his early days interviewing rock musicians for his student paper to building airlines (Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Blue), telecommunications systems (Virgin Mobile) and lifestyle brands (Virgin Active). Read it and you can't help but feel inspired.

Spring 2008 Vairo Selection

Paul Hurych (May 2008, Information Science & Technology major) selected Nicholas Carr's The Big Switch: Rewiring the World From Edison to Google.

Devin Zuczek (May 2008, Information Science & Technology major) did not choose a book.

Spring 2007 Vairo Selection

Janice Kuehn (May 2007, English major) selected James Michener's Chesapeake. Janice explains why:

"There could likely be no other book that I would relate to so closely-I grew up in Baltimore, and I was a real "water rat"-I boated, fished, crabbed and swam every chance I got as a kid. "When I was 20, my husband and I bought a big sailboat and kept it on Middle River (just above Baltimore), and we had the time and energy to explore the bay, especially the Eastern shore. Many was the week that found us "down south," anchored out in a new creek, meeting other boaters, tasting great local seafood and just learning the geography "from the water." We both raced with a crew out of Annapolis for many years, and we loved doing the skiing, hobie-cat, day-sailing thing too.

"When our children came along, we started going down to Camp Tockwogh on the Eastern shore, just below the Sassafras River. Every summer we'd have our "YMCA Adventure" vacation there-the camp offered (and still does) sailing, skiing, hobie-catting, riding, tennis, hiking, crafts, a beautiful pool, and other "family camp" activities galore, all in the rather unique "Eastern Shore" setting. It's kind of like "Florida meets the Maryland Blue Crab Society!"

"During my senior year at PSU I took down my old copy of Michener's book and reread it. I enjoyed it all over again; it was an informative (and unique) primer on American history. Michener had roots here too-he attended Swarthmore College for a while and worked in one of the old local Swarthmore restaurants. His book "Hawaii" was one of the first full-scale novels I ever read. My mother used to aggressively scavenge used books for me, and she brought that one home while I was still in grade school. I loved it!!!

"While re-reading "Chesapeake," I could almost taste the Choptank water-somewhat more salty than Sassafras water, but clearer too. (More jellyfish down there though, not a good thing when it's hot and you just need to cool off.)

"I remember one particular summer regatta I raced in-we barreled over from Annapolis to St Michaels the first day, and most of us sailers had to anchor out in the Miles River, as all the good docking spots were of course nabbed by the big boats, which always post the best times ( they arrive first). We anchored out and bathed ourselves as best we could with bars of soap in the river. That night we all attended a lovely dance at the Yacht Club; the Naval Academy was heavily represented by mid-shipmen who'd competed that day on the five matching Academy yawls (even their spinnakers all matched-it was truly impressive!) They all (guys and gals) wore navy shirts and white shorts while racing, but they all showed up in their dress whites for the regatta dance. There was a severe shortage of ladies, so I got to dance with a great many future commodores.

"That day, every time a boat crossed the finish line, a small "mini-destroyer" that the US Navy had perched in the river fired off her bow cannon-way cool!!!! "While he was researching his book, Michener sailed, crabbed, oystered, and generally did the land-rat and water-rat thing for a couple of years all over the Chesapeake. He must have been quite a guy!"

Spring 2006 Vairo Selection

Karen Craig (English major) states: "The task of choosing one personally influential book presented quite a challenge.  As a writer myself, I have been influenced by the writings of many famous and popular writers including, but not limited to, Ernest Hemingway, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Mary Shelley.  Ultimately, I chose the Pulitzer-Prize winning non-fiction novel written by Margaret Mitchell in 1936, Gone with the Wind.  This book deals with struggle, loss, disappointment, victory, racism, heartbreak and true love.  This book not only warms the heart, but also inspires readers allowing them to believe, like Scarlett, that tomorrow is another day."

Shana Goldson (Business major) selected God's Leading Lady, Out of the Shadows and Into the Light, by T.D. Jakes.  Here is a quote from Shana as to why she chose this book: "This piece of inspirational literature was built on the foundation of one of the most historic pieces of text, The Holy Bible.  It has taken the challenging scripture of the Bible and has deciphered it into a comprehendible text that delivers inspiration to all its readers.  It has inspired and allowed me to come to terms with the one thing that has sometimes stifled other things in my life, my need for continuous and undisturbed perfection."

Graduating as an Honors Scholar is a significant distinction, and Penn State Brandywine's Vario Library celebrates this achievement by asking Honors Scholars to select a book to be added to the Library.  The Library inserts a bookplate to commemorate the success and adds the book to the campus collection.

Scholars are asked to choose a book that relates to their academic major and reflects their professional interests.  The new Scholar alumni are also asked to provide a personal statement (1-2 paragraphs) about the selection that will inspire current Honors Scholars and others. 

Since the Vario Library began this recognition with the Spring 2006 graduates, the book selections have been wide-ranging.  Yet the selections clearly demonstrate a book that made a difference or personal connection in a scholar's life.  A listing of honors alumni with their book choices and statements are highlighted in the campus Honors newsletter and here in this blog.

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