Book by Former University President James F. Nickerson is 2017-18 Common Read


July 14, 2017 | Announcement

Mankato, Minn. – A book compiled by the late James F. Nickerson, former Minnesota State University, Mankato president, has been selected as the University’s “common read” for the 2017-18 academic year.

Nickerson’s book is titled “Out of Chaos: Reflections of a University President and his Contemporaries on Vietnam-Era Unrest in Mankato and its Relevance Today.”

The book is a collection of Nickerson’s personal reminiscences about events that occurred at Mankato State College during the 1960s and 1970s.

“Out of Chaos” highlights the importance of student engagement with social and political issues and demonstrates how the actions of an individual or group can help influence the course of history.

“Out of Chaos” is for sale at local bookstores and available at local libraries. For more information, contact Monika Antonelli, Common Read chair, associate professor and outreach librarian, by phone at 507-389-2507 or by email at

A calendar of events, book discussion questions, book and article lists and learning activities – is available on the Common Read website.

The keynote event for this year’s Common Read is a documentary film, “Two Weeks in May,” that will be shown Wednesday, Nov. 1 in the Centennial Student Union Ballroom. Students in Minnesota State Mankato’s Film Studies program – part of the University’s Department of English – are creating the film, which describes events that occurred on campus in 1972 that were written about in Nickerson’s book. A grant provided by the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council from funds appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature, made the film possible. The film is free and open to the public.

Minnesota State Mankato is in the eighth year of its common read program. Books selected for the Minnesota State Mankato Common Read encourage reflection on coming of age and life transitions while providing fascinating examples of community engagement, service, and citizenship.

The Common Read also creates community and conversation with students, families, and the community. All students, faculty, staff, families and community members are welcome to join in reading the book, participating in discussions and attending events.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of English is part of the University’s College of Arts and Humanities.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,110 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

Categories: Announcement