Emporia State University believes its fledgling Honors College will take flight and be "something special" all of Kansas can be proud of.
The Honors College was approved by the Legislature earlier this spring and given $1 million to flesh out the university's vision. On the ESU Buzz with President Dr. Michael Shonrock on Thursday, Shonrock said students are already hoping to get involved.
Also during the program, Honors College Director Dr. Gary Wyatt said the college fits nicely into the ESU campus master and strategic plans. Wyatt says the money represents "a sacred trust" to build something special at ESU built upon the college's new mantra of changing lives for the common good.
ESU held the inaugural welcome for the college Thursday , including a pinning ceremony for the first 16 students involved.
ESU junior Derek Wilson of Melvern said he was excited to transition from the honors program into the beefed-up Honors College. Part of that was the enhanced learning opportunities like trips coming up later this year.
Civic leadership and creating vibrant communities are goals for when the students leave ESU, so the Honors College is now working on small class sizes, numerous mentoring opportunities in the classroom and several special trips. A special gathering place has been set up in the third floor of the William Allen White Library, and next year Wyatt expects Honors College communities in ESU residence halls.
Students must have a high school grade point average of 3.5 or a cumulative ACT score of 26 or higher to be involved.