National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2022, 23(1): 69–71


Copyright © 2022 Joshua and Brandi Mulanax


As part of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s (2022) collection of essays about the value of honors to its graduates (1967–2019), the authors reflect on the personal and professional impacts of the honors experience.

It’s a crisp, cool morning as the campus begins to show signs of life. Above the tittering birds and soft breeze, laughter can be heard echoing across the grounds. The sounds are coming from the self-proclaimed “nerd herd,” an eclectic group of honors students shuffling along the sidewalk to their morning classes. The conversation ranges from serious discussions regarding an upcoming biology test to light teasing about pranks pulled in the dorms. Despite, or perhaps because of, their complex array of ethnicity, majors, and ages, their interactions portray a chemistry seldom seen among such a large group of people. Their relationship can be best be described with one word: “family.” Family is a multifaceted concept that can be interpreted in numerous ways. The overall construct typically refers to a group of people who share a bond with one another. Within this group are many distinct types of relationships. In our honors family, those relationships were based on respect, rivalry, and shared growth. Though we came from different corners of the world, breaking away from the only familial ties we’d ever known, the honors program nurtured and bound us together to form a new family dynamic. The environment created by this web of interactions culminated in