May 10, 2013
COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, email@example.com
University Selects 2013 Readership WT Common Reader
CANYON, Texas—Doc Hendley would be the first to admit he’s just a regular guy. But this tattooed bartending, motorcycle-riding guy has traveled far and wide to touch the lives of thousands of people, and he shares his story in West Texas A&M University’s Readership WT book selection Wine to Water.
The name of the latest common reader was announced and distributed during WTAMU’s end-of-year faculty and staff meetings, and incoming freshmen will receive copies of Hendley’s Wine to Water at New Student Orientations this summer. The book is the 2013 Readership WT selection and tells how Hendley used his bartending skills to provide clean water to people in developing countries. The author will speak at WTAMU for the University’s annual convocation Oct. 3, and winners of the Readership WT essay contest will travel in March 2014 to a yet-to-be-decided location where a Wine to Water project is in progress.
Hendley, a 2009 CNN Hero, is the founder of Wine for Water, an organization committed to providing clean water for the world. It all started when Hendley, a bartender, organized some wine tasting events to raise awareness and funds for clean water projects. Those events eventually landed him in Darfur, Sudan. He spent a year there, dodging Janjaweed terrorists while trying to protect the country’s limited water sources. He found his calling and since 2004, he’s been helping repair and maintain water containment systems in places like Uganda, Haiti, Darfur, Ethiopia and Cambodia. His story tells how an ordinary guy can do amazing things to change the world.
Readership WT is the common reader program initiated in 2005 as part of the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan, “Engaging the first-year student.” Since then, Readership WT has introduced the University community to A Hope in the Unknown by Ron Suskind (2005), What Should I Do with My Life? by Po Bronson (2006), Night by Elie Wiesel (2007), What is the What by Dave Eggars (2008), A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (2009), The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam (2010), Where Am I Wearing by Kelsey Timmerman (2011) and The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens (2012). The 2007 reader, Night, also introduced an international travel component to the program, and freshmen essay winners have traveled to Poland, Africa,Turkey, Cambodia, Honduras and Bolivia. For more information about WTAMU's Readership WT program, visit wtamu.edu/readership.