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February 7, 2016   
Posted: August 3, 2011
Big Read inspires many events in 2011-2012

This year's Big Read book Rebecca Skloot's "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" will be the subject of several important student events during the upcoming academic year, beginning with the New Student Convocation Aug. 21.

Incoming students were assigned to read the book as part of CCU's annual Big Read program, designed to encourage cross-disciplinary dialogue among students, professors and the entire CCU community.

The book describes the life, death, and subsequent "immortality" of Henrietta Lacks. Although Lacks died of cervical cancer more than 60 years ago, the cells she donated have become perhaps the most important research tools in the history of biomedicine. Skloot tells the story of the famous "HeLa" cells and the scientific, legal and ethical issues that surround the case.

CCU health promotion professor Fredanna M'Cormack will address issues the book raises in her talk, "Big Read: Big Ideas," at the New Student Convocation at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. The book will serve as a textbook in First Year Experiences classes during the fall semester. Four faculty-led panel discussions on the book will be held at Wheelwright Auditorium on Sept. 26 and 27 at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. All incoming students are required to attend this free (but ticketed) event. Tickets will be available at the Wheelwright Box Office starting Aug. 15.

During the Spring 2012 semester, the entire campus will participate in the Relay for Life cancer fundraiser to raise awareness of and money for research into the disease that took the life of Henrietta Lacks.

For more information on the Big Read, contact Scott Pleasant, chair of the Big Read Committee at

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