Sept. 9, 2010

Honors program

The University Honors Program has been helping shape the minds of students through classes and seminars, like this one, for 50 years. More than 1,000 students are enrolled in the Honors Program this fall. Photo by Leah Hansen.

University Honors Program is golden

by Paula Van Brocklin

More information on Honors is available online.

The University Honors Program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this academic year with a variety of events.

On Sept. 15, be sure to stroll past the Jischke Honors Building, where students will be handing out birthday cookies (cake was deemed too messy) to passersby.

Honors also is cosponsoring a Sept. 16 lecture, "Global Souls: Citizens in the Future Tense," (8 p.m., Great Hall, Memorial Union) by travel writer Pico Iyer. Iyer's most recent book (2008) is the bestseller, The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, based on conversations with the Buddhist monk over 33 years.

Additional events are planned for family weekend, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, including a faculty-student trivia competition on Sept. 30 (time and location to be announced), and an open house/tailgate reception at Jischke on Oct. 2, three hours prior to the start of the Iowa State-Texas Tech football game. Anyone associated with the Honors Program may attend these events.

Other activities are in the works for the rest of the academic year, culminating with an April 16 open house and alumni gathering (9 a.m.-4 p.m., Jischke) during Veishea weekend.

Honors history at a glance

Iowa State's Honors Program was established in 1960 with about 40 students. However, undergraduates earned departmental honors as early as the 1940s. Honors seminars have been offered since 1967 (noncredit seminars earlier than that), and the first-year program began in 1973. Over the years, the program has been enhanced with quiet housing options, a leadership development program and opportunities to conduct research with faculty.

Honors was housed in Old Botany (now Catt Hall), Osborn Cottage and Pearson Hall before moving to Jischke when it opened in 2002.

This fall, more than 1,000 students are enrolled in the Honors program.