First-Year Reading

  • The incoming class read Nate Fick's One Bullet Away.
    The incoming class read Nate Fick's One Bullet Away.
October 06, 2012
The first-year reading assignment is an important first step in introducing us to college-level work, and allows us to share a common bond in knowledge and understanding.

Here at Washington College, incoming freshman are given a summer reading assignment so that when we arrive on campus, we ready to discuss the book in small groups and, later, with the author.

This year, the Class of 2016 read One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer, by Nathaniel Fick. A former captain in the Marines’ First Recon Battalion who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, Fick reflects on his experiences of becoming a Marine, and leading platoons in Afghanistan and Iraq. He focuses on decision-making and what it means to be a leader.

The book gives students a glimpse of what Washington College expects of its students. “We’re committed to preparing our students for leadership roles and the practice of moral courage,” says Patrice DiQuinzio,  associate provost for academic services. “That means standing up for what’s right, even if sometimes you’re standing alone.”

Dean DiQuinzio says she hopes that each of us will find our own way as leaders and understand that making decisions is not always easy. We’re not always going to make the right decision. But we have to keep trying.

“The world is desperate for leadership,” DiQuinzio says. “And leaders need to be trained so that even when they do make mistakes, they can bounce right back and learn from the mistakes they have made. We will make mistakes. But making mistakes and giving up, and making mistakes and growing from them is what separates a leader from all the rest.”

She says she believes that every student had leadership potential that they can begin to develop at Washington College. “Whether it be in an academic setting, a sports team, or a campus organization every student has the potential to be a leader in some way.”

— Bethany Freeman ’16

Last modified on Oct. 9th, 2012 at 3:30pm by Marcia Landskroener.