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Common Experience collection

Identifier: 11.200-CommonExperience

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of background materials, such as descriptions of the event and proposals for themes. Also includes materials used and saved from each theme, such as newspaper clippings and press releases, posters, calendars of events, etc. Each year's theme also featured a book, and these are kept with the series. Each series various in documentation; after 2017, the documentation is limited.


  • 2004 - 2020


Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Historical note

Each year since 2004, diverse groups of faculty, staff, and students have created distinctive experiences for our campus and community, with presentations by some of the world's most important voices on the issues of our time. Speakers have included poet Maya Angelou, filmmaker Spike Lee, writer Isabel Allende, broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien, filmmaker Robert Rodriguez, Adm. William McRaven, attorney Bryan Stevenson, astronaut José Hernández, and Oscar/Grammy-winner Common. In fall 2020, the Common Experience presented live online events with John Quiñones of ABC News (and host of What Would You Do?) and U.S. Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez. Additionally, there have been many special events, such as Innovation Week in 2018, which offered 50-plus events over five days for learning and engaging with new ideas on campus.

Common Experience proposals should establish strong connections to a theme and events that cross academic boundaries, creating junctions for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs.

[Taken from Common Experiance email].


8.33 Linear Feet (Foldered items and books in six letter hollinger boxes, one legal hollinger box, and one carton; posters in one flat 11x17 box and two flat 16x20 boxes. )

4.45 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



Each year since 2004, the Common Experience events bring students together to read and engage with a powerful text, and explore related themes in University Seminar classes. Collection consists of background and planning materials, press releases, posters, calendars of events, as well as each year's book.


Arranged chronologically and grouped by Common Experience theme with the exception of the Planning records series which contains materials that covers 2005 to 2020.

Physical Location

Materials may be stored off-site. Advance notice may be required for use.

Related Materials

Beginning in 2007, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Distinguished Lecture Series was held in conjunction with the Common Experience. See 11.200.LBJ Distinguished Lectures.

Common Experience collection
In Progress
2020 August
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Alkek Library Room 580
601 University Drive
San Marcos Texas 78666 USA