Montana State University

Mortenson book selected as topic for first MSU convocation

June 26, 2007

MSU's first freshman convocation, slated Monday, Aug. 27, will feature a discussion of "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson of Bozeman. Incoming freshmen are being asked to read the New York Times bestseller about Mortenson's unlikely journey to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Mortenson will speak at the university on the first day of classes.    High-Res Available

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
A Bozeman author who has inspired millions with a book about his efforts to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan will launch Montana State University's first freshman convocation set for Aug. 27.

The university is asking all incoming freshmen to read "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. Mortenson, who has received international acclaim for his efforts to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, will lecture at MSU's inaugural convocation, set at 4:10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, in the MSU Fieldhouse.

Greg Young, MSU's vice provost for undergraduate education, said the university is pleased to have Mortenson launch what he hopes to become an annual MSU tradition. A convocation is a ceremony that traditionally honors the beginning of students' college careers.

"Greg Mortenson is a great fit with MSU as our speaker for the first freshman convocation at MSU," Young said. "His accomplishments in community engagement on a global scale, from scratch, set the bar high for the incoming class; he overcame tremendous obstacles to achieve his goals; and it all started with mountains, minds, and a mission," said Young, alluding to MSU's slogan, "Mountains and Minds."

Young said MSU faculty selected the book because it has value for all college-bound students, no matter what their major. He said faculty and staff would also read the book over the summer and participate in informal discussions about the book when school begins in August. Alumni and community members are also encouraged to participate in the summer reading.

This week "Three Cups of Tea" was number eight on the New York Times bestseller list for paperback non-fiction. The book about Mortenson's unlikely journey from mountain climber to builder of schools in remote regions has won a variety of awards since it was originally published in 2006. For more information, go to

In addition, MSU graduate Jeni Fleming, of the popular jazz group Jeni Fleming Trio, will also be performing her song, "Three Cups of Tea," at the convocation.

The MSU Office of the Provost, Vice President for Student Affairs, the MSU Leadership Institute and ASMSU sponsor the event. For more information, go to

Greg Young (406) 994-6057,