McBride’s “The Color of Water” the featured novel for Seton Hill’s 2004 Freshman Reading Project

James McBride is an award-winning writer, composer and saxophonist. His New York Times bestseller “The Color of Water, A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother” won the 1997 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Literary Excellence and was an American Library Association Notable Book of the Year. McBride is also the author of “Miracle at St. Anna,” which the Baltimore Sun called a “searingly, soaringly beautiful novel.” McBride is a former staff writer for The Boston Globe, People Magazine and the Washington Post, and his work has also appeared in The New York Times and Rolling Stone. As a musician, McBride has written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington, Jr. and the PBS television character “Barney,” and has been awarded the American Arts and Letters Richard Rodgers Award, The ASCAP Richard Rodgers Horizons Award and the American Music Theatre Festival’s Stephen Sondheim Award.

McBride will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Cecilian Hall on Seton Hill University’s Greensburg, PA campus. A book signing will follow the lecture. The event is open to the public. Tickets are $10. For tickets or additional information, please call 724-830-4626. Media sponsor for “A Revolutionizing Perspective” is DUQ 90.5 FM.

Seton Hill’s Freshman Reading Project was launched in 1998 as a “tangible, academic way to invite students into the educational process,” according to Dean of the Faculty Mary Ann Gawelek. Every summer, incoming Seton Hill freshmen are provided with a free copy of a recent book, chosen by an academic committee on the basis of the caliber of its writing and the interest of the community in its topic. The same book is also provided to Seton Hill faculty, staff and upperclassmen who have volunteered to take part in a group discussion with the freshman class during the first week of classes each fall semester. During the reading discussion, small groups of freshmen, faculty and upperclassmen discuss the book, guided by questions from facilitators. Each smaller group then shares their insights with the larger gathering. “The summer reading allows new students to join with upperclassmen, faculty and staff in a learning activity,” says Gawelek, “while it emphasizes the importance of reading, discussion and critical thinking.” This summer, the freshman read James McBride’s “The Color of Water” and will be discussing it on September 9. The freshmen will then have the unique opportunity to meet the author just a few days later, on September 14.

Seton Hill, chartered in 1918, is a coeducational Catholic liberal arts university with more than 30 undergraduate programs and 8 graduate programs, including an MBA. Seton Hill brings the world to its students through its distinguished lecturers and nationally and internationally renowned centers. For more information on Seton Hill please visit or call 1-800-826-6234.