Honors Program searches for funds

The purpose of the university’s Honors Program is to provide a series of challenging courses and extracurricular activities for students who excel academically.

Its focus is to develop the intellectual and ethical leadership skills of students while fostering long-term commitment to the learning process.

“The Honors Program benefits are innumerable,” said honors student John Hakizimana, 21, a senior physics student from Rwanda, Africa. “It definitely prepares you for the rigors of graduate school and the world of work, while still giving you the exposure to other high achievers and role models.”

Even though the program has benefits for the students involved, it is in desperate need of funding for the upcoming school year.

Located off Gamble Street, even the honors office is in the middle of flux. It sits in the midst of trailers while the former location, across from the Dyson Pharmacy Building, is under renovation.

The program has been funded in the past by several grants from corporations like Eli-Lilly, Cigna, Armstrong and Title III. Unfortunately, the cycle of funding from these companies is ending.

Meanwhile, honor students still require the same activities, recognition programs and conferences as before.

“Without funding, we will have to continue to beg, borrow and almost steal to get the needs of our students met,” said Ivy Mitchell, program director of the Honors Program.

Ruth Sanders, one of the program administrators, agreed.

“Right now the program’s budget stands at a bare minimal $150,000 to help continue renovation and to meet the high level of excellence required of our students through our various activities,” she said.

Administrators are currently making plans for funding for the upcoming year. The planned renovations to the honor’s house will include larger conference rooms, adequate office space, updated technology (computers) and being centrally located near the set and library area.

“Right now, we are in the middle of applying for A & S funds for the upcoming year,” Sanders said. “We are seeking assistance from various sources, and at the same time thinking ahead to alleviating this problem by creating a curriculum as we speak for a honor college one day.”

Jarritt Sheel can be reached at jazzmessenger2@hotmail.com