Jay Gatsby Goes to College

The most recent “For Your Enrichment” column in Reference & User Services Quarterly (RUSQ 55:1, Fall 2015) features a piece by our colleagues Laura Barrett, Ridie Ghezzi, and Jay Satterfield.

In “For Your Enrichment: Jay Gatsby Goes to College” Laura, Ridie, and Jay describe Dartmouth’s First Year Student Enrichment Program (FYSEP) and the Library’s role in the 8 day pre-orientation for the participating first generation college students.

The Great Gatsby first edition in Rauner Library

The Great Gatsby first edition in Rauner Library

ABSTRACT:  Jay Gatsby, the main character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel The Great Gatsby, is a self-made man. He entered St. Olaf College in Minnesota but then dropped out during his first term because of the humiliating circumstances of his poverty. Gatsby’s flight from college contrasts with the Ivy League education of Fitzgerald’s narrator, Nick Carraway, the Yale graduate better equipped to navigate East Egg’s social world. Gatsby’s experience is still relevant today: while the transition to higher education is often difficult for young people, it is especially so for first-generation students. Many students can call on the experiences of family members to help them acclimate to the college environment, but first-generation students lack a road map for academic success and social comfort in what can feel like an alien world. These students often face even greater hurdles at highly selective institutions such as Dartmouth College, where expectations for academic achievement are high and the social climate is often unfamiliar.

Read the full article here.

FYSEP in 2015:

FYSEP '19s

FYSEP Class of 2019