Main Menu

Common Reading program to host virtual lecture with Andrew Forsthoefel October 14

ISSUED: 25 September 2020
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University is hosting a virtual talk/question and answer session with Andrew Forsthoefel, the author of this year’s common reading book, “Walking to Listen,” on Wednesday, October 14, at 7 p.m. via Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube. The event, which is sponsored by the Shepherd University Foundation, is free and open to the public.

The book details a journey Forsthoefel took at age 23 just after graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Uncertain about his future, he spent 11 months walking 4,000 miles from his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, to the California coastline. Taking minimal possessions and wearing a sign that read “Walking to Listen,” Forsthoefel recorded interviews with people he met along the way. By listening to others, he hoped to discover what it means to come of age.

As the featured event for this year’s program, Forsthoefel will reflect on his journey, the practice of listening, and offer advice for college students from his own experience. October 14 happens to mark the ninth anniversary of the day in 2011 he began his walk.

Forsthoefel is a speaker and peace activist who currently lives in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. His narrative work has appeared on This American Life and The Moth. He teaches trustworthy listening as a practice in reconciliation, personal transformation, and peacemaking. His work, including a podcast, is available at

For more information and to RSVP, visit the Shepherd University Common Reading Facebook page at

— 30 —