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Stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern—of which I am a part….What is the pattern or the meaning or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little more about it. — Richard Feynman

UW Common Book

Through The Meaning of It All—selected for the UW’s 150th anniversary—we hope to sustain delight in wonder, encourage perennial questioning, and spark insatiable curiosity about the world. 

Discovery. It’s the Washington Way.


Seventh UW Common Book explores the meaning and power of respect

Respect: An Exploration by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot has been selected as the seventh University of Washington Common Book. The UW Common Book project welcomes freshmen and transfer students to the University’s academic community through a shared reading experience and offers opportunities for students and faculty to enjoy special common book events and discussions.

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Sara Lawrence Lightfoot
Richard Feynman

Teaching and Learning Guide

Learn more about Richard Feynman, the physicist, professor, and man. Find ways to incorporate the UW Common Book into your class or study group. See which book about Feynman you may want to read next in this Teaching and Learning Guide.

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Common Book Lecture Series

Discovery and curiosity are at the heart of the Common Book Lecture Series. Guided by the themes from The Meaning of It All, the Common Book Lectures invite you to ask questions, explore new ideas, and meet first-hand some extraordinary people who are shaping our world and changing the way we think, know, and learn.

More about the series



Funding for Student Programs

Now accepting applications for funding to support student-initiated programming related to this year’s common book. Funding can be used for speakers, displays, workshops, seminars or other creative ways of exploring the book or any of its many themes.

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UW’s 150th Anniversary

Over the past 150 years, the UW and the people of Washington state have worked together to create one of the most livable, innovative and vibrant areas of the nation. As we look back on our shared accomplishments, we move forward with excitement about what the next 150 years will bring.

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