National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Fall/Winter 2015, Volume 16, Number 2.


Copyright © 2015 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


When I was sifting through stacks of brochures from colleges as a high school student (in the days before the Internet and college web sites), I had a vague sense that I wanted to find a college with an honors program in which it was “cool” for students to develop close mentoring relationships with faculty and where students were encouraged to seek both breadth and depth in their education. While I enjoyed my public high school experience, I knew that I wanted to go beyond memorizing facts and preparing for standardized tests. I could not fully articulate my educational goals or the reasons for them at that time, but in hindsight I realize that I was seeking a significant opportunity to participate in an environment marked by high-impact learning practices, a focus on the big issues facing humanity, and lifelong learning. I had the good fortune to enjoy such a life-changing experience in college, and as a university president I now strive to create similar opportunities for the next generations of students.