Inaugural induction ceremony brings new members to the Honors Program By Jenn Tyborski

 

After 15 years, the Honors program inducted over 140 active students, celebrating the wide array of achievements, hard work and dedication put forth by all honors students. Last Friday, students and loved ones gathered in Ganz Hall to celebrate the occasion.

 

The Student Honors Organization (SHO) began Honors Welcome Week last week with its second annual Meet and Greet. This year, approximately 30 students attended, along with Assistant Director of the Honors Program Megan Bernard, to meet other honors students, as well as to learn more about the student organization.

 

“I attended today to meet fellow honors students, as well as to catch up with people I know,” said Kurt Witteman at the event.

 

Witteman, 19, is a transfer student from St. Norbert College near Green Bay, WI. Although he transferred during the spring 2013 semester and had history as an honors student, he wasn’t aware of SHO at Roosevelt.

 

Witteman said he’d be interested in lectures with faculty and outside sources.

 

Highlights of the event included second-year student Claudia Remy’s homemade cheesecake, which was very popular amongst attendees, and the announcement of board member elections to be held in the upcoming weeks for SHO.

 

“This is our first induction ceremony,” said Sam Rosenberg, director of the Honors Program. “I think it’s a great idea, and I think it shows the maturation of the Honors Program. And I think with Megan’s work, and with the work of many faculty who are very supportive of the Honors program, we can now take the Honor’s Program to the next level.”

 

As the program grows, and as students request courses to meet their demands, Rosenberg and Bernard wish to meet as many of these wishes as possible. New this year, the Honors Program is offering a psychology track. Amongst honors students, psychology is by far the largest major taken by students, and as with any honors course, the psychology honors courses are open to all honors students.

 

On the reasoning behind the induction ceremony, Rosenberg said, “We want to celebrate the students. We want to say we are very proud of you, we are very proud of the work you have done and we’re very proud to have you at Roosevelt University.”

Honors students can thank Professor Stuart Warner for Friday’s induction. The planning process began during the spring semester, when Warner went to Bernard with the idea. Because this was the first time the Honors Program would hold an official induction ceremony, every active honors student was eligible to attend.

 

Currently, there are more than 140 active honors students, and 53 are first-year students to the program. Although the exact number has changed a little in the first week of school, this year’s new recruitment was the largest amount of students added to the program in a single year.

Once Rosenberg took to the podium, the audience quickly quieted. Welcoming the students who attended, as well as the family and friends, Rosenberg talked a little about the history of the program.

 

The Honors Program began in 1998, and at the time, only had 40 students. That number is much greater today. Also, in Rosenberg’s opening remarks, he greatly emphasized that, “Megan has helped in leading the largest enrollment of first year students.”

 

University Provost Douglas Knerr advised students, “Pay yourself first.” He said students should invest in their education, putting forth time into classes, outside work, extracurricular activities and internships.

 

President Charles Middleton spoke after, highlighting major aspects of the Honors Program, like classes offered, study abroad opportunities and undergraduate research programs. He also spoke of the strong support the administration and faculty give the program.

 

“We’ve never been disappointed in our honors students in the research they’ve completed,” Middleton said. “[You] come to create, as you learn.”

 

After Middleton finished his speech, Bernard came forth and began the pinning portion of the ceremony.

 

Once the final name was read, each student then placed their new honors membership pins to their shirts, signifying the accomplishments the program had made in the past, as well as the achievements that will be made in the future.

 

Professor Stuart Warner was the last to speak, but certainly left students with some great messages to think about.

 

“We are learners, and we make ourselves what we are by learning,” he said. “The most important and distinctive thing about us: all of the students.”

 

“You make this university with who you are.”

 

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