University Honors Program Announces Record Number of Students, Classes

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Aug. 22, 2005 – A record number of honors classes are being offered for a record number of honors students this fall at Southeast Missouri State University.

About 350 honors students are enrolled for the fall 2005 semester in at least one of 19 honors classes being offered at Southeast. Southeast also is celebrating the 20th anniversary this year of the University Honors Program.

“It is indeed an exciting time to be a member of the honors community at Southeast,” said Dr. Craig Roberts, director of the University Honors Program.

He says honors students at Southeast this fall will discover a new Honors Program Web site at http://www.semo.edu/honors as well as an Honors Program group on the Southeast portal, which will facilitate communication among the honors community.

Roberts says technology at the Honors House, located at 902 College Hill, has been upgraded to include wireless access and state-of-the-art desktop and notebook computers. New honors students were welcomed into the honors community at an Opening Week Honors Open House Aug. 19 and at meetings on the honors floor of the Towers North residence hall.

“There will be more opportunities for honors students and their families to connect with our honors community at a Family Weekend Honors Open House on Sept. 24 and a Governor’s Scholar Reunion during Homecoming on Oct. 29,” Roberts said.

Members of Southeast’s honors faculty have several exciting activities planned for students in their fall 2005 honors classes that will include state-of-the-art computer simulations and a trip to the Manhattan Project site in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Honors students at Southeast are mentored by honors faculty. During the 2004-2005 academic year, the Faculty Honors Council approved seven outstanding faculty members as honors faculty, Roberts said.

“The 20th anniversary of the University Honors Program permits us to celebrate past accomplishments and prepare for the important challenges that lie ahead as we establish high expectations for our program, faculty and students,” he added. “If the success of the previous 20 years may be used as a benchmark, our honors faculty and students will continue to meet and even exceed our high expectations and do so in creative ways that strengthen our honors community.”

During the 2004-2005 academic year, seven honors students completed the University Honors Program and were designated as Honors Scholars at the fall and spring commencement ceremonies.  During the past academic year, the Honors Program was responsible for co-sponsoring the Thirteenth Annual Student Research Conference at Southeast during which eight honors students gave presentations and nine served as session chairs.  Southeast honors students also gave two presentations at the Honors Council of the Illinois Region Conference in Chicago, Ill., last year, and an honors student was presented the Provost’s Award for the School of University Studies. Honors students also had a presentation proposal accepted for the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference to be held in October in St. Louis.

Honors classes were first offered at the University during the fall 1985 semester. Due to the leadership of previous Honors Program Directors Dr. Dalton “Rusty” Curtis, Provost Jane Stephens and Dr. Larry Clark, a foundation has been established upon which the current honors community is able to thrive.  Through efforts of other faculty members in the Honors Program such as Dr. Peter Hirschburg, last year’s Faculty Exempli Gratia Award winner, the program has grown.

Roberts says the program is looking forward to this year’s 20th anniversary celebration.

“As we celebrate this important milestone for the University Honors Program, this foundation allows us to design a program that will meet the diverse and demanding needs of the 21st century honors student,” he said.