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, ChristianityToday.com, and The Paris Review.
Roose is also the author of Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of WallStreet’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).