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One College, One Book (Fall 2012)  

Supporting discussion and further reading related to the College-wide discussion of "The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed"
Last Updated: Aug 7, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Welcome to OCOB 2012 Print Page

One College, One Book

Welcome to One College, One Book for Fall 2012!

Each year, Rasmussen College students, faculty, and staff online and at all campuses and offices have an opportunity to unite by reading the same book! The One College, One Book program encourages lively discussion on a variety of topics, promotes recreational reading, and raises diversity awareness.

We invite you to join us this quarter in exploring the following non-fiction title:

The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed

by Judy Shepard


The Author: Judy Shepard

Judy Shepard wrote The Meaning of Matthew, published in 2009.  The mother of Matthew Shepard, Judy travels througout the country as a speaker and as an activist for civil rights. 

Dennis and Judy Shepard founded the Matthew Shepard Foundation.  The vision statement of the foundation is  “Replace Hate with Understanding, Compassion, & Acceptance."


Audio Books Available

Prefer to listen to a book?  We have several audiobook copies available through our Overdrive collection.

Paperback copies are available on campuses and in central offices.  E-book copies will be available as well; the specific details are being finalized.


It Gets Better

Check out other videos and sign the pledge:


The Book: 'The Meaning of Matthew'

The dedication of the book reads, "This story is dedicated to all the 'Matts' out there who feel that Matt's story is a reflection of their own struggle. Hope is out there and change is coming."

In the fall of 1998, a young college student in Laramie, Wyoming, was savagely beaten in an anti-gay hate crime.  Matthew Shepard, age 21, was beaten, tied to a fence, and left for dead.  He died a few days later.  News of his murder and the motives behind it brought attention to the issue of hate crimes directed toward gay and lesbian individuals.

In The Meaning of Matthew, Judy Shepard describes her son from a mother's perspective but with straightforward realism.  With incredible strength, Judy recounts the day she learned of Matt's injuries, the struggles she faced during Matt's final days and memorial service, and the emotions she experienced as the murderers' trials approached.  Judy also reflects on the path which led her to become an activist for human rights.

The Meaning of Matthew presents the tragic story of a life lost because of two men's hatred.  However, it also presents the story of a mother's love, a community's support, and a nation's transformation.


Judy Shepard Interviewed on NPR

Listen to Neal Conan's interview with Judy Shepard on September 8, 2009, as she talked about her book The Meaning of Matthew.  She speaks about the press coverage, public attention, and more.  A transcript of the interview is available.



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