Summer Reading Author to Speak at President's Convocation

Kevin Roose

Aug. 26, 2015 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Author and TV writer and producer Kevin Roose will speak Sept. 9 at the President’s Convocation at Illinois Wesleyan University. Roose is the author of The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University , which was selected for the University’s Summer Reading Program.

Roose was a self-described fairly typical Brown University student who “studied English lit, drank fair-trade coffee, attended the occasional anti-war protest, and sang in an a cappella group” before he became fascinated with Liberty University, a Christian liberal arts college founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. Roose wanted to know more about his Christian peers, so in his junior year he transferred to Liberty to live among fellow students while pretending to be one of them. The Unlikely Disciple (Grand Central Publishing, 2009) is the story of that semester.

“The setup for this book sounds like a joke…But Kevin Roose, a strong and thoughtful writer, pulls it off without caricatures or condescension, and with a whole lot of humor and soul-searching,” according to a review in The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The Unlikely Disciple also received praise from numerous news outlets, including Jewish Week,, and The Paris Review

Roose is also the author of Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits, a 2014 New York Times bestseller looking at the lives of eight young Wall Street bankers. He has written for GQ, Esquire, the New York Times, and New York magazine, among others. He is currently a senior editor and co-executive producer at Fusion, the joint venture between Univision and Disney/ABC.

The President’s Convocation, which begins at 11 a.m. in Presser Hall’s Westbrook Auditorium (1210 N. Park St., Bloomington), traditionally opens the academic year at Illinois Wesleyan with a prominent speaker. Roose’s address is free and open to the public. Roose will sign copies of The Unlikely Disciple at 1 p.m. Sept. 9 in the Young Main Lounge of the Memorial Center (104 E. University).