Author Suskind to speak at M.A.C. Center

Michelle Bender

Ron Suskind is a name freshmen may remember from the front cover of the book they were assigned to read this summer.

Suskind is scheduled to talk about the assigned reading, A Hope Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the M.A.C. Center.

Deborah Craig, coordinator of the Guest-of-Honor series, expects large crowds at Suskind’s speech and book signing.

James McBride, author of last year’s assigned reading The Color of Water, drew 1,100 people to his speech and signing.

“The James McBride signing was so successful, students were lined up all the way to the Hub,” she said. “He was so warm in giving his speech people thought he was talking to them personally.”

Craig said she anticipates more than 3,000 people will attend. There is no reception scheduled afterwards, but students will get a chance to meet Suskind at the 5 p.m. book signing beforehand.

Suskind’s novel tells the story of Cedric Jennings, an honors student from the inner city of Washington, D.C. Jennings gets accepted into Brown University, where he finds he has to struggle to catch up to the rest of his class. Jennings has a very difficult time fitting in at Brown and must rely on his faith and determination to give him hope.

“A lot of people on campus are wondering how he went about gathering research for the book,” said Terri Capellman, program director of Undergraduate Studies. “The speech will answer questions.”

Capellman said A Hope Unseen is relevant to the freshman class because Jennings went through a changes similar to what the freshman class is experiencing.

“The story immerses the students into something,” she said. “It gives them a different frame of thought and frame of reference. Every freshman can relate to Cedric Jennings.”

Contact undergraduate affairs reporter Michelle Bender at [email protected].

Ron Suskind

Thursday, Sept. 21

Book signing: 5 – 7 p.m.

Speech: 7:30 p.m. in the M.A.C. Center