National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version

Spring 2008


Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council 9:1, Spring/Summer 2008. Copyright © 2008 by the National Collegiate Honors Council.


Most of us in honors have a general sense of what the phrase “honors culture” might mean but would be hard-pressed to define it. Those who have been involved in honors education for any length of time realize that this thing we call “honors” varies widely across institutions. We also know that the components of honors culture at even a single institution include multiple and transient populations of administrators, staff, faculty, and students. Many of the recent writings on college culture by columnists like David Brooks and Thomas Friedman focus solely on undergraduate students, but a culture, if there is one, includes all participants and is shaped by relationships among members of successive generations that change over time.