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One Book One DU

One Book One DU
Hillbilly Elegy Book Cover

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

by J.D. Vance

One Book One DU

2018-2019 one book call for nominations


Please submit your suggestions for the 2018-2019 One Book and the One Prompt. Faculty, staff, students, donors, and alumni are welcome to submit nominations to support the mission of One Book One DU in providing a shared intellectual and communal experience for incoming students and DU community members.  

The goals of the One Book program are to help students:

  • reflect upon their backgrounds and how these influence their personal values and beliefs,
  • explore their personal and social identities,
  • wrestle with the challenges and rewards of building a truly diverse and inclusive community, and
  • consider how to respect and celebrate members of their community with vastly different life experiences and perspectives.

For 2018-2019 year we will align the One Book, One DU program with the DU Grand Challenges initiative, led by Anne DePrince and Art Jones.

2017-18 One Book One DU selection: hillbilly elegy

"I didn't write this book because I've accomplished something extraordinary. I wrote this book because I've achieved something quite ordinary, which doesn't happen to most kids who grow up like me."

How do individuals, from a wide range of backgrounds and value systems, become a community? This is the major challenge and greatest reward of a University campus -- learning more about yourself through your interactions and friendships with those vastly different. Through One DU One Book, the University seeks to provide a shared intellectual experience for the community to reflect on the roots of our beliefs, our aspirations, our values, and on how we can leverage our collective experiences toward the University's mission of contributing to the public good.  

The University is pleased to announce this year's One Book One DU book selection is  Hillbilly Elegy , by J.D. Vance. It is the story of a young man growing up in Appalachia, with grim prospects for a secure future.  Vance uses his own story as a backdrop for discussion about what social, regional, and class decline feels like, and how upward mobility feels once it is obtained. Spoiler alert: Vance is now a principal at a leading Silicon Valley investment firm, former marine and Yale Law School graduate. He has contributed to the National Review and The New York Times, and has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC.

Faculty/staff members: If you are currently or interested in pursuing programming related to the Hillbilly Elegy selection, please contact Undergraduate Academic Programs at 


Call for submissions

Many Voices, One DU

DU IMPACT 2025's One Book, One DU program invites undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, staff, and faculty to submit a story for the second volume of Many Voices, One DU. The book celebrates the many voices that combine to form our DU community, bringing together reflections about identity, difference, and community inspired by a common prompt. Please e-mail submissions to by Friday, December 1st, 2017.

To read the first volume of Many Voices, One DU, please visit: