February 06, 2018
NEWBURGH, N.Y. -
Dr. David Kennett, Mount Saint Mary College interim president, got the ball rolling on February 1 by reading the first pages of News of the World to the eager crowd of students, faculty, and staff.
Seven hours, 53 readers, and 209 pages.
With Dr. David Kennett, Mount Saint Mary College interim president, leading the charge, the Mount community came together on Thursday, February 1 to read aloud the entire News of the World novel by Paulette Jiles.
The event kicked off the Knight Reading program, the Mount’s inaugural campus-wide shared reading experience. News of the World will figure prominently into other Knight Reading events this semester, including book discussions, academic luncheons, and expert talks.
The reading began at 9:30 a.m. with Dr. Kennett. Volunteers, including Mount students, staff, and faculty, passed the torch periodically until the entire book was completed, only a few minutes before 4:30 p.m.
About 120 people dropped in to listen throughout the day, with many staying for the duration and following along in their own copies of the book.
News of the World is a historical fiction novel set in the late 1800s in which Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is tasked with delivering a young orphan named Johanna to her relatives. Their 400-mile journey proves difficult and dangerous, but soon, the two begin to trust each other. Upon completing their trip, Captain Kidd is faced with a tough choice: give Johanna to her reluctant relatives, or kidnap her and raise her as his own.
The reading event was meticulously planned down to the minute by Barbara Petruzzelli, director of The Kaplan Family Library and Learning Center.
“It seems fitting to stage a read-aloud of a novel where the spoken word figures so prominently,” noted Petruzzelli. “Thank you to everyone who helped to make this project a success.”
The read-aloud was co-sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, the Office of Student Affairs, the Kaplan Family Library, the Division of Arts & Letters, the School of Business, the Division of Education, the Division of Math & Information Technology, the Division of Natural Sciences, the School of Nursing, the Division of Philosophy & Religious Studies, and the Division of Social Sciences.