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Convocation 2019: Tara Westover

Find out more about MSU’s 2019 Convocation speaker, Tara Westover.

Tara Westover's Book & Her Convocation Appearance

​The 2019 Freshman Convocation featuring Tara Westover takes place at 7:30 p.m. on August 22, 2019 at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.

Convocation is a formal welcoming of the incoming class at Montana State University. The lecture is free and open to the public.


About Tara Westover

Tara Westover is a historian and writer known for her courageous personal journey that is detailed in her book Educated: A Memoir. Westover was born to survivalist parents who opposed public education and grew up near Buck’s Peak in southeastern Idaho. She was not allowed to attend school, have a birth certificate or see a doctor. Yet she taught herself enough mathematics, grammar and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University when she was 16. Westover graduated magna cum laude from BYU in 2008 and won the Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014.

Dr. Westover's bestselling memoir Educated is about her transformation from the daughter of survivalists who was kept out of school into a Cambridge doctoral graduate.  Educated has been at the top of many bestseller lists for more than a year including The New York Times’ list, where it has been on or near the top of the nonfiction bestseller list for 60 weeks. Educated has also won many book awards, including being a finalist for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence.