Loyola University Chicago

New Student Programs

Student Academic Services

Rambler Read

The Rambler Read is a common reading and dialogue opportunity that aims to provide a shared intellectual experience for first-year students. New Student Programs, with the support of the Rambler Read Committee, invites members of the campus community to initiate and/or engage in programming that enhances the experience of first-year students around the text's themes.  

The official 2024-25 Rambler Read is Wake Up With Purpose!: What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years, by Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, in collaboration with Seth Davis. This memoir is an invitation into the life of Sister Jean and the lessons she’s gleaned from over a century of living. The book captures Sister Jean’s wisdom, spirit, and sharp sense of humor. It also delves into themes that connect us all, such as finding purpose and hope.


New students receive a copy of the book at New Student Orientation over the summer and be encouraged to read it prior to the start of fall classes. The Rambler Read Committee and New Student Programs are currently planning the following programs during the 2024-25 academic year in association with the text and its themes: 

For more information about the Rambler Read, or to request a review copy, please contact New Student Programs at firstyearexperience@luc.edu.

Suggest a Title for Future Rambler Read Consideration

The Rambler Read program solicits suggestions from the campus community is we consider future Rambler Read selections. Each year, the committee gathers nominations from the campus community to inform the next year's Rambler Read selection. Therefore, we seek ongoing suggestions from Loyola faculty, staff, students, and alumni on their recommendations for future Rambler Reads. 

The Rambler Read program is an exciting opportunity to engage our community in meaningful conversations within and outside of the classroom about important societal issues.

Nominate a Text for Consideration!

Selection Criteria:

  • Connects with Loyola’s mission; Jesuit, Catholic identity; and Chicago-land location 
  • Speaks to at least one University Core Knowledge Area 
  • Is accessible, interesting, and relevant to first-year Loyola students 
  • Is timely and provides perspective on current events and issues 
  • Has a strong narrative arc and provides a lens through which multiple disciplinary and interdisciplinary themes can be engaged 
  • Is less than 400 pages in length

The Rambler Read Committee includes representatives from:

  • Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship
  • Division of Student Development
  • Mission Integration
  • New Student Programs
  • Undergraduate and graduate students
  • University Core
  • University Libraries
  • Writing Program