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Provost Summer Read Program

Save the Date Brene Brown ImageAuthor's Visit

Brené Brown will give an evening keynote address related to her best-selling novel, Braving the Wilderness on October 16, 2019.

Please plan to attend the October 16 keynote and hear Brené talk about her own experiences related to this inspiring book.

Ticket Information:

Join us at the Cullen Performance Hall on October 16 at 7:00 p.m. for An Evening with Brené Brown as she discusses Braving the Wilderness. This book is the Provost Summer Read selection for 2019.

  • Tickets will be made available to the general public on September 9 at 10 a.m.
  • Tickets are provided at no cost and are General Admission only; available first-come, first-serve. Limit of one ticket per person.
  • To secure a ticket for the event, please visit Cullen Performance Hall Ticket Information on Monday, September 9 at 10 a.m.

About the Program

Braving the Wilderness book cover by Brene BrownThe goal of the Provost Summer Read Program is to promote academic learning and foster community among first year students through curricular and co-curricular programs. You will find that the 2019 Provost Summer Read selection has been integrated into the curriculum: this book appears in first year seminars, the core curriculum, and some of your major courses might feature ideas or link to the book. Discovering commonalities with others creates a stronger sense of understanding and belonging. The concept of ‘belonging’ is the central point of this year’s Provost Summer Read selection, Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown. As you engage with this community of scholars for the first time, at one of the most diverse institutions not just in the state of Texas but in the nation, we encourage you to consider the author’s words:

“The special courage it takes to experience true belonging is not just about braving the wilderness, it’s about becoming the wilderness. It’s about breaking down the walls, abandoning our ideological bunkers and living from our wild heart rather than our weary hurt. We’re going to need to intentionally be with people who are different from us. We’re going to have to sign up, join and take a seat at the table. We’re going to have to learn how to listen, have hard conversations, look for joy, share pain and be more curious than defensive, all while seeking moments of togetherness.”


The Provost Summer Read Program is built around a common book that is read over the summer by all first year students. After first year students arrive on campus to begin their fall semester of classes, they will participate in a meaningful dialogue with faculty and your peers, inside and out of the classroom.

About the Author

Brene BrownDr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.

She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership.

Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 35 million views. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed talk on Netflix. The Call to Courage special debuted on the streaming service on April 19, 2019.

Brené lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Steve. They have two children, Ellen and Charlie.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Provost Summer Read Program is built around a common book read by all first-year students during the summer. The final selection for the 2019 book is under review.

The Office of the Provost is pleased to provide first-year students with an electronic copy of the book which will be distributed during the summer. Students can buy additional or replacement copies at the University bookstore or other retail outlets. Electronic versions can also be purchased through popular bookselling websites.

All incoming freshmen will read the selected book and participate in a meaningful dialogue with faculty and your peers, inside and out of the classroom.
We are eager to answer your questions and provide further information about this program. Please email one of our program specialists at for a prompt reply.