Pella Chronicle

September 7, 2012

“Little Princes” author to host convocation at Central College


The Chronicle

Pella — Conner Grennan will be on campus to talk about his memoir “Little Princes,” Thursday, Sept. 13. Grennan’s book was chosen as the 2012 common read. This is the sixth year of the college’s common read program—which brings together Central College faculty, staff and incoming students through literature.

The common read is a centerpiece of the required first-year seminar Intersections, which is taught by faculty across disciplines. Mitch Lutch, director of Intersections, explained the importance of experiencing the book as a community.

“The common reading cultivates an intellectual community and creates opportunities for dialogue across groups of people who might not typically find themselves crossing paths,” he said. “A book that everyone reads provides a common reference point for conversation.”

“Little Princes” tells the story of Grennan’s travels to Nepal and his discovery of child trafficking in an orphanage. Traffickers promised to take children away from war-torn villages but, once they had their fee, left children in orphanages in Kathmandu.

Realizing the children had been taken from their families, Grennan dedicated his time to reuniting them. Grennan moved to Kathmandu and started Next Generation Nepal, a nonprofit committed to reconnecting trafficked children with their families.

Before traveling to Nepal in 2004, Grennan worked for eight years at the EastWest Institute in Prague, Czech Republic, and Brussels, Belgium. There he worked on peace, community development and anti-trafficking policy in the European Union and former Yugoslavia.

Grennan’s story has inspired first-year students and faculty alike.

“I’ve already seen and felt the strong impact the book has had on the students in my Intersections class,” Lutch said. “They are moved and inspired by Conor’s volunteerism, his perseverance, and when necessary and warranted, not to take ‘no’ for an answer.”

Grennan will host a convocation in Douwstra Auditorium at 11 a.m., as well as a Writer’s Reading in the Cox-Snow Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.