His radio program ended in the mid-1950s.
Fifty years later, Gediman resurrected it. He initially hoped some new belief essays would air on the radio once a week for at least a year.
The program became wildly popular, though. People in China and Egypt and all around the globe listen to the weekly series via podcast.
Now, Ivy Tech Kokomo region is joining the movement.
Students throughout the region are reading “This I Believe II” as part of a campus-wide initiative to incorporate a common book into all classes and programs.
It’s really taken off, said Ethan Heicher, assistant vice chancellor of academic affairs for the region. Faculty teaching health classes have especially embraced it, he said.
This semester, students are reading the book and discussing its essays in class. Next semester, they’ll start talking about their own core beliefs and writing their own essays, Heicher said.
Students will submit them to Gediman’s This I Believe Inc. in hopes that some of them will be published someday. The nonprofit is considering publishing a “This I Believe Indiana” since it’s had so many submissions from the Hoosier state, Gediman said.
But that’s not the real goal of the project, Heicher said. He wants this book to bring students together.
“There was a real need to build a sense of community here,” he said. “When they meet in the commons, when they meet outside of class, they’ll have something to talk about.”
Heicher said the program has been used on college campuses throughout the country, both in academics and in student life initiatives.
“This is a really good way to let people get to know each other on a deeper level,” he said.
Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune education reporter, can be reached at 765-454-8585 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.