The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope, the inspirational story of William Kamkwamba, a boy in Malawi, Africa who built his own windmill from found materials at age 14 has been selected as the inaugural book for the University’s First Year Reading Experience (FYRE) program. As part of the University’s 125th anniversary, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community are invited to a book club event on August 30th from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Chattanooga Room of the UTC University Center. Special guest Kamkwamba will be in attendance.

William Kamkwamba’s Visit:  August 30th

1:30  College of Arts and Sciences, Nursing, CHEPS (lecture/discussion), UC Auditorium

(open to faculty, staff, and upper-level students from these divisions)

2:30  College of Engineering, Business (lecture/discussion), UC Auditorium

(open to faculty, staff, and upper-level students from these divisions)

4:00  Q&A with First-Year Students, Roland Hayes Auditorium

5:00  Book Signing, Roland Hayes Auditorium

5:30-7:00  Public presentation and discussion with the author (with refreshments), Chattanooga Room (UC)

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind tells the story of Kamkwamba’s life from barely surviving a famine and dropping out of school to bringing electricity to his impoverished village and changing his life and community forever.

Dr. Joe Wilferth, FYRE committee member, UC Foundation Associate Professor and Associate Head of the English Department explains more about this program, open to the entire campus.

“Aptly named, the First Year Reading Experience (FYRE) program is designed to spark a life-long interest in active reading and promote community among incoming first-year students, staff, and faculty at UTC. The program is built around the concept of a common reading experience that will foster conversations across disciplinary boundaries and aid first-year students in becoming part of the larger university community,” he said.

“The First Year Reading Experience is not restricted to first year students; all students, staff, and faculty who wish to participate in programs or activities related to the FYRE program are invited to do so.  Campus-wide participation, discussions, and interdisciplinary connections are among the goals of the FYRE program,” Wilferth continued.

For more information about the FYRE program, click here. To more information on UTC’s 125th anniversary click here.


Media Relations Contacts: Email Shawn Ryan or call (423) 425-4363.
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