The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Famous author John Green graces USM

Bennett Auditorium was packed full with an audience prepared to see beloved young adult author John Green.  People even lined the outside of the building, just hoping for the chance to see Green in person.

Green is an author widely known for his novels such as The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines and Paper Towns. His novels have gone on to sell millions of couples, and multiple movies and television series have been produced based on his books. And on Wednesday, April 9, Green made his way to the stage of Bennett to talk more about his works.

In one of the most packed University Forums in quite a while, Green enlightened the audience with tales of what inspired his novels, including a story on his six-month career as a chaplain for a hospital that still impacts his life to this day.

His experiences with loss and grief at the hospital inspired his first novel, Looking for Alaska. The novel has since been adapted into a television series and has sold millions of copies.

Perhaps his most notable work is The Fault in Our Stars, the story of two teenage cancer patients who fall in love. The book spawned an incredibly successful film and became an Internet sensation amongst young adults and teenagers.

Audiences went wild for Green’s speech and subsequent Q&A, with many in crowd attempting to ask the famed author questions of their own.

Events like this at college campuses are important to Green, who feels that he still has much to learn from students.

“I find it very encouraging,” said Green. “Being in a place like this always reminds me that young people are full of promise and that I have reason to hope because of them.”

This is not Green’s first experience with USM. In 2009, Green visited the university for the 42nd annual Kay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival. Now, 15 years later, Green has made his return to USM.

Having grown up in Alabama, Green  would visit Hattiesburg at times in his youth. When he first arrived in the city before the forum began, Green walked around the campus and took in the changes of the campus since he last came to USM.

“It’s just a beautiful campus, and so much growth has happened since I was last here, so that’s awesome to see as well,” Green said.

Green also donated materials of his work to the renowned Southern Miss de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection that is featured in the McCain Library & Archives.

“The de Grummond Collection is one of the best collections of children’s literature in the world, so it’s really an honor to be asked,” Green said. “I’m really proud to have my stuff there.”

Green was also excited to promote the film adaptation of his novel Turtles All the Way Down that will premiere on Max on May 2.

“My own experiences have been just extraordinarily lucky,” Green said. “I’ve gotten to work with people who really care about my books, and I think you feel the way they care about them when you watch the movies.”

Aside from his work in publishing, Green has also made quite the name for himself as an Internet personality. Alongside his brother Hank, Green has been a prominent figure on YouTube. Through their channels Vlogbrothers and the educational Crash Course, along with their founding of the extremely popular convention VidCon, the Green brothers have cemented their legacy on the Internet, and in this modern society.

It is important to note that outside of his Internet personality and his abilities as a public speaker, one can find no faults in Green’s kindness and humility.

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