Date of this Version
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2022, 23(1): 17–19
As part of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s (2022) collection of essays about the value of honors to its graduates (1967–2019), the author reflects on the personal and professional impacts of the honors experience.
The year was 1989. I had moved from a rural community in Michigan to South Carolina to attend Columbia College, a private, liberal-arts women’s college. The culture shock and adjustment were equal parts exhilarating and unnerving. I was welcomed by the warm, Southern charm of campus and was nurtured, personally and academically, by the close-knit community of the honors program. I had a rich college experience in general, but being an honors student changed the entire trajectory of my career and shaped me personally, instilling confidence, motivation, and purpose. The indelible mark stemmed from the program’s motto: Non Magis Sed Melior, “Not More, but Better.” The program was intentionally grounded not in the quantity of coursework but in the quality, delivering a deep academic experience that challenged students to reach their highest potential as scholars and leaders.