“First-Year Text” is an initiative that Loyola University instituted in 2006, in which all of Loyola’s first-year students read the same book over the summer. The book chosen for the 2018 First-Year Text is Finding Purpose: Environmental Stewardship as a Personal Calling, by Andrew Hoffman.

In this book, Hoffman “invites us to look beyond material growth and explore the role of the individual and business in discovering a wider purpose to bring about a balanced and sustainable society,” according to the publisher’s description.
Martin Finnie, program coordinator for First-Year Text, shared a little bit about the process for choosing the book. In October of the prior year, a campus-wide solicitation invites the Loyola community to nominate a book for review. This list is narrowed down to 12-15 selections that the committee divides up and reads, and then they choose one.

This fall, 4,000 first-year students will enter campus having read the book and ready to enter into introspective discussion, specifically as part of Loyola’s “Communities in Conversation” series, which aims to encourage students to make a fundamental commitment to environmental sustainability and justice, and to help them find their passion to serve the world’s needs.

When asked what it was about the book that felt like a good fit for the program, Finnie explained, “Finding Purpose speaks to a person’s responsibility as a part of planet Earth. This very much aligns with Loyola’s values, specifically being a globally minded individual. The text does a great job calling upon everyone to evaluate how they impact the Earth in their career, through their faith or in society in general. We hope to help students discover their calling or vocation, if they have not done so already, and we believe Finding Purpose can help to do this while keeping the world’s needs in focus.” He added, “We hope that students understand the positive impact they can have on the world.”