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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


Book 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.  

Committee Nominations

University Academic Programs seeks FOUR committee members for the One Book One DU Committee. This committee is responsible for the selection of the 2018-2019 One Book and One Prompt response. Please send nominations to Leah O'Grady at

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

Encountering Stories: A showcase of the One Book, One DU shared prompt responses

Due Friday, September 22nd, 5pm


We are pleased to announce our second Call for Submissions for the annual celebration and showcase of  first-year writers' responses to DU's One Book, One DU shared prompt. We welcome One Prompt responses in all genres—such as multimodal (e.g., songs, videos), readings, and oral performances—by first-year students. If your work is accepted, it will be displayed at the showcase event on Wednesday, October 18th from 6pm–7:30pm in the AAC Special Events Room. Five authors will be invited to read or perform their work at the event. Submissions will also be considered for publication in Many Voices,  One DU volume 2 (authors notified of publication in early January 2018).

Submission Guidelines:

  1. Responses may be submitted electronically (by students or by instructors on behalf of students) to the selection committee at
  2. Authors must be DU first-year students responding to the One Prompt
  3. Submissions must include: 
    • Subject line of e-mail: Name & "Encountering Stories Submission"
    • Body of e-mail: Name, FSEM instructor, Full title & brief description
    • Attachment: Your response to the One Prompt. Written submissions should be Microsoft Word documents. Visual submissions can be sent as PDFs. Audio and movie files may need to be sent as a link.