Yann Martel, author of the award-winning "Life of Pi," which was made into a highly acclaimed motion picture, will speak at Montana State University's 2013 Freshman Convocation on Sept. 5, and kick off the university's Year of Engaged Leadership.
"Life of Pi" is a world-wide bestseller that has received numerous literary awards, including the 2002 Man Booker Prize. The book spent 69 weeks on the New York Times' Bestseller List and will be the featured 2013 summer reading for MSU's 2,400 incoming freshman class. The book was the basis for the recent Academy Award-nominated film directed by Ang Lee.
"Yann Martel is a compelling storyteller and an inspirational speaker - an excellent choice to launch our freshman students into their journey into university academic life," said MSU President Waded Cruzado.
The university also announced that Martel's visit will launch MSU's Year of Engaged Leadership initiative, which will include events scheduled throughout the 2013-2014 school year that will help students, faculty and staff become more effective leaders on campus and in their communities.
The university will plan workshops, discussions, lectures and other campus-wide programs. Each month's activities will focus on a single characteristic of leadership, concentrating on ways that it is, or should become, an integral part of the university's campus culture. Examples of innovative leadership activities will include a faculty-staff day of service in the community and a leadership film series. MSU Extension will work through Extension agents to explore monthly leadership concepts statewide.