Commencement 2019

News Briefs


Bestselling author Charles Duhigg, whose book The Power of Habit was required reading for this year’s incoming freshmen, has created a personalized video for VWC students. Duhigg addresses the College’s Class of 2017 in a seven-minute video now posted on YouTube, on the College’s website and social media pages. Students were asked to read the book (along with faculty and staff) in preparation for their “First Year Experience” course, which is designed to engage students in activities and exercises that explore the nature of the liberal arts while connecting them to the campus community. In The Power of Habit, Duhigg synthesizes scores of research on the topic of habit formation and channels it through the lens of our collective cultural experiences to make the case that mastering the “habit loop” of cues, routines, and rewards can not only help us break negative habits but replace them with more positive ones. In doing so, we can lead healthier, more productive and rewarding lives. The transition from high school to college, Duhigg points out, is a perfect time to rethink one’s patterns. “When everything in our life changes,” he notes, “our habits suddenly become flexible in a way that they weren’t before.” Duhigg shares some sage advice and personal anecdotes and even a funny clip from a famous psychological trial known as the “Marshmallow Experiment.” He congratulates the Class of 2017 and notes they are “about to start what will literally be one of the greatest experiences of your life.” Students will begin discussing the book at Scene II, the second installment of new student orientation kicking off August 21, and the book’s theme is being incorporated into a variety of areas of VWC’s curriculum and events on campus during the 2013-14 academic year.