For Discussion Leaders

The dedicated website for the PRP 2019 selection, Cathy O'Neil's The Weapons of Math Destruction, will go live in mid-June. If you are looking to register as a Discussion Leader for PRP 2019, please visit

Dear PRP Discussion Leaders (current and prospective):

Welcome to the Penn Reading Project! Every year since 1991, Penn's incoming freshmen have come together in small groups with faculty to discuss a selected text specifically for that class. The Penn Reading Project (PRP) is a major feature of New Student Orientation, and the first opportunity students have to interact with faculty in an intellectual discussion.

Many faculty and academic staff have joined us during this time—some for many years. We strive to provide a valuable, satisfying experience for students and leaders. I often hear from Discussion Leaders that in addition to the small group discussions with students that are a core of the program, they really enjoy the chance to meet with colleagues from other schools, who also serve in the program.

This year's selection is Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey, which will support the Year of Why (2018-19). For information on the project, visit: the Year of Why website

If you are ready to sign up—and I hope you are—click the link below, which will take you to a form. Once filled, out, you’ll get periodic updates through the summer, and of course, we’ll ultimately send you a list of participants in your group.  We will also send you a printed copy of The Bridge of San Luis Rey—you will also have access to the online version, where starting in early July, incoming Penn freshman students will be reading and communicating with each other.  Some key dates and events are listed below.

Thank you so much for your support of PRP!

David Fox
Director, New Student Orientation and Academic Initiatives / 215.573.5636

Penn Reading Project 2018 – The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

  • March (ongoing) — Printed copies of The Bridge of San Luis Rey delivered to Discussion Leaders
  • May - June — The Bridge of San Luis Rey online reading site opens to Discussion Leaders. You will be able to annotate and highlight the text.
  • July 5 — The Bridge of San Luis Rey reading site launches for incoming Penn Freshmen
  • August 24 (11:30am or 1:30pm) — Presentation on The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Year of Why in Irvine Auditorium.
  • August 24 (3:30pm-4:30pm) — PRP small group discussions
  • August 24 (4:30pm-6pm) — Reception for PRP discussion leaders