National Collegiate Honors Council




Date of this Version



Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2022, 23(1): 7–8


Copyright © 2022 Andy Walker


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.

I went off to college confident that I knew what I needed from higher education and just how I would put it to use. I had not yet learned of hubris and was afflicted by the arrogance of youth, born of ignorance. Fortunately for me, grown-ups had designed the required curriculum that, along with a scholarship, was part of my honors program, and I was blessed with the classic liberal core curriculum and the Great Books tradition. Having wiser, better educated minds in control of many of my curricular choices—combined with a requirement to attend all performances of the local symphony, opera, and ballet—transformed me and continues to enrich my life even now, in retirement. The honors curriculum set me on a lifelong course of seeking not just “the best that has been thought and said,” but also the most beautiful that has been created and done. It opened my eyes to treasures I had been blind to, that give me joy to this day.