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SMC alumnae to host book web chat

Ashley Charnley | Wednesday, December 1, 2010

In an attempt to unify the campus community, the Alumnae Board has established the One Book, One Saint Mary’s book club, which will be meeting virtually today at 8 p.m., according to Lisa Maxbauer Price, a member of Saint Mary’s Alumnae Board and 1999 graduate.

“Since 1998, many communities throughout the world have adopted this idea — originated by the Washington Center for the Book — of unity through the reading of literature,” Price said.

The club will be meeting at www.FriendFeed.com to chat via the Internet about the book, “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss, she said. Participants can then search “One Book, One Saint Mary’s” and discuss the book together from anywhere in the country.

“As Saint Mary’s women, we feel a real bond with one another,” Price said. “But sometimes it’s hard for alums scattered across the country to feel connected to one another, or to the students and the campus they love so much. This program seemed like an easy way for everyone to have a common, shared experience — regardless of our graduation year.”

The Board has created a Facebook page for the event, and Price said they have 903 people who have joined the group so far. She said a majority of the members are alumnae.

“Several alumnae clubs around the nation, for example Grand Rapids, Mich., have already had events, book club meetings for the chosen book: The History of Love,” Price said.

Dr. Ted Billy, professor of English at the College, will use the book in one of his English classes next semester, she said.

Price said the Alumnae Board received recognition from College President Carol Ann Mooney, who sent a letter to the alumnae.

“I think the concept of ‘One Book, One Saint Mary’s’ is an excellent one and I fully support your efforts. This book has received such excellent reviews that I look forward to reading it very soon,” Mooney said in the letter.

Price also said the book club is appealing because it is a simple, no cost way for the campus community to connect.

“The alumnae board agreed it was an easy, free way to connect people participating in the program, whether they’re on campus or halfway across the country,” Price said. “If people enjoy the web chat, it will be very easy for the alumnae board to host more throughout the year.”

The Board is hoping to make this an annual event and feature alumnae writers in the future, she said.

The event is not limited to Saint Mary’s community members, but can also be accessed by Notre Dame and Holy Cross alumni, students and faculty members.

Depending on results, Price said the Alumnae Board will continue events like this one.

“If people enjoy the web chat, it will be very easy for the Alumnae Board to host more throughout the year,” Price said.