Welcome from Dr. Mike James, Dean of the Honors College
Have you been blessed with outstanding academic prowess? Do you want more than the standard course offerings? If so, we want you to join us!
The Honors College provides opportunities for scholars to unite and form lasting relationships with their peers. The Sears Honors House exists to join with students from all disciplines to share meals, tutor local high school students, study before mid-terms and finals, meet to go kayaking, bike riding or participate in community service projects, and to hear presentations by guest lecturers. The Sears House is a central hub for Honors students.
Please peruse our website. It contains resources to help you become a part of the Honors College and connect with other Honors students. It includes a listing of our Honors courses which always prove to be a challenging, stimulating and rewarding part of your undergraduate experience.
We offer many leadership opportunities across campus and in our local community. Join us for lunch each Tuesday on Chili Day or consider attending one of our Sears Seminars, which offer a broad-based exposure to stimulating ideas and an opportunity to discuss those ideas with visiting experts.
If you have questions about our program, please e-mail us, or, better yet, come by the Sears Honors Center here on campus. We'll be happy to assist you.
Michael L. James, Ph.D.
Dean, Honors College
The Honors College is a co-enrollment program at Harding University encouraging students to develop high intellectual standards, independent thought, logical analysis, and insight into the nature of knowledge while building their faith in God. The college supports this mission by offering courses and opportunities that stimulate and challenge promising students to develop their scholarship, leadership, and critical thinking skills as fully as possible. The college balances academic preparation with opportunities for service to fellow students and to local communities. Finally, social and cultural activities are provided to foster well-rounded experiences. Therefore, the Honors College is designed to attract, inspire, and retain talented students. Honors College participants set an example of leadership, academic excellence, and social and spiritual involvement while stimulating the learning climate at the university.
Honors College Motto
"Humility before Honor"
Our motto is taken from Proverbs 15:33
President: Daniel Houtrouw
Vice President: Jenna Harris
Secretary: Victoria Willis
Historian: Jill Jennings
Service Director: Mitchell Eller
Buck for Breakfast Manager: Alyssa Abraham
Party Planners: Claire Summers and Katherine Embry
Treasurer: Kelsey Lillard
Chancellor: Kinsey Starks
All Honors Students are invited to participate in the Honors Council and to plan and develop activities for the Honors College.
Honors Grad Requirements
Honors College Graduation Recognition
Students enrolled in the Honors College at the time of graduation will graduate with a degree in their selected major area of study. There are three recognition levels from the Honors College.
Honors College Participants earn 10 or more hours of honors credit during their college career while maintaining a 3.25 overall grade point average. Courses may be selected from honors (H) sections and/or HNRS courses, or students may collaborate with a University professor to create an honors contract in a regular class.
Honors College participants will be recognized with a special notation in the commencement program.
Honors College Graduates earn a minimum of 20 hours of honors credits while maintaining a 3.25 overall grade point average. Students must include at least three honors (H) sections and/or HNRS courses, and four honors contracts.
Students unconditionally admitted to the Carr College of Nursing who maintain a 3.25 overall grade point average may graduate from the Honors College by earning a minimum of 20 hours of honors credit completing at least four honors contracts and any courses designated as (H) sections or HNRS courses. See College of Nursing for more information.
Honors College Graduates will be included in a separate listing in the commencement program. The official university transcript will indicate they have achieved this honor.
Honors College Graduates with Distinction earn a minimum of 26 honors credits while maintaining a 3.5 grade point average throughout their college work. Students will complete a minimum of four honors (H) sections and/or four HNRS courses, and a minimum of four honors contracts. An approved Honors senior capstone project must be included in the plan.
Honors College Graduates with Distinction will be noted in a separate listing in the commencement program with the Honors capstone project title. The official university transcript will indicate they have achieved this honor. Students will be awarded an engraved bronze medallion at the Honors College Medallion Ceremony.
Honors Students: Incoming freshmen Honors Students are eligible by earning an ACT score of 27 or higher, or an SAT of 1220 or higher. Incoming students submit online form below or print off a paper version pdf.
Currently Enrolled Students: Current and transfer Honors Students must earn a 3.25 university grade point average to enroll. Current students submit online form below.
Enrollment Form - Incoming Freshmen
Enrollment Form - Current Student
Agreement, Contract and Capstone
For Major Sections of BNEW 111, BNEW 113, BOLD 205, BOLD 207, and PSY 201
All students wanting to complete an Honors Agreement for Spring 2015 must submit their proposal online by Friday, January 30th.
This program addresses the need to provide honors-level scholarship in the major area of study during the first two years of study. The Honors Agreement is the first of three levels which include the Honors Contract and the Honors Capstone Project.
Review Honors Agreement information for students and teachers pdf for further information.
Students wanting to propose summer honors contracts must submit a proposal online no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.
Students who have completed three lower level Honors courses may opt to earn honors credit in regular upper-level courses (250 or above) by means of contract arrangement with the course instructor.
An Honors contract is a mechanism for adding an “honors dimension” to a non-honors course. The contract project will add to the academic depth of the course by introducing new material or by allowing the student to more deeply explore the subject matter beyond the standard syllabus.
Honors Contracts are required of all Honors College Graduates and Honors College Graduates with Distinction.
Review Honors Contract Information for Students and Teachers pdf for further information.
Note: Spring 2015 Honors Capstone Projects must be submitted by Friday, January 30, 2015.
Honors College Graduates with Distinction are required to complete an Honors Senior Capstone Project. The selected project will demonstrate mastery of a discipline and achievement of the objectives of the Honors College.
Prospective Honors capstone students must meet the following qualifications:
- Member of the Honors College in good standing
- Senior classification in final year of studies
- Minimum cumulative gpa of 3.5
- Must be reasonably able to meet the criteria for Graduation with Distinction.
The student must schedule an appointment and meet with the Honors College Administrator prior to submitting the capstone proposal form.
Review these documents with your capstone professor prior to submitting your proposal.
Submit Honors Capstone Proposal
The Honors Council has planned lots of activities for you. There are plenty of ways to be involved with fun, service, food, and helpful information sessions. Watch for detailed information flyers via HU email and The Honors House facebook page.
- Chili Day - Every Tuesday from 11am - 2pm - Honors House
$2.00 buys all the chili you can eat and a drink!
- Tutoring - Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30pm - 5pm - Honors House
- 9:09 Devo - Every Tuesday at 9pm - 10pm - Honors House
- Honors Council Meeting - Every Wednesday at 5pm (everyone is welcome)
Honors College Study Night
Sunday, March 1st – Thursday, March 5th: 8pm – 11pm at the Honors House
Need a quiet place to study for midterms?
Come on over to the Honors College for a quiet and comfortable place to study!
Buck for Breakfast
Saturday, March 21: 10am – 12pm at the Honors House
Make your way over to the Honors House for all you can eat pancakes!!
Cost is one buck!
Buck for Breakfast
Saturday, April 18: 10am – 12pm at the Honors House
This is the last chance this semester to get all you can eat pancakes for just one buck!
Honors College Study Night
Sunday, May 3rd – Wednesday, May 6th: 8pm – 11pm at the Honors House
Need a quiet place to study for finals?
Come on over to the Honors College for a quiet and comfortable place to study!
Two Unique Programs
Students, who are members of the Honors College, are able to design their own program of study through the Interdisciplinary Studies major. Possibilities include unique majors such as Public Health, African Studies, Global Communication or Classics. The Honors College staff will assist students in designing their own major. The Honors College supervises the program under the office of the Provost.
The Interdisciplinary Studies Major was created specifically for Honors students who wish to pursue rigorous academic and creative discovery unavailable through traditional majors.Through this program students should consider structuring their own course of study through the Honors College. Students pursuing this major must be a member of the Honors College in good standing (requires a 3.25 GPA).
To initiate this process, the student writes a rationale describing their proposed curriculum, forms an advisory faculty committee who assists in designing a unique course of study, and then seeks approval for their program of study from the dean of the Honors College and the vice president of academic affairs.
To stimulate students to consider their educational plan from different perspectives, sample degree plans are available below or you may contact us with specific questions at email@example.com.
This program of study may be used as a primary degree. Students pursuing the major must be a member of the Honors College in good standing (requires a 3.25 GPA). Contact Dr. Mike James, dean of the Honors College, for more information.
Sample Degree plans:
Harding University's Honors College began offering an interdisciplinary leadership studies minor in Spring 2006. Honors students who opt for the minor may draw on courses from most of Harding's other colleges to harmonize their leadership studies with other academic interests. The course choices offered for the minor are intended to provide a strong, broad foundation for outstanding University students who want to develop a servant-leadership lifestyle.
Students who wish to minor in leadership studies may come from any academic major, but must be members of the Honors College. One of the required core classes, HNRS 204, is designed for Honors Scholars, who qualify by being named National Merit Finalists, receiving a Trustee Scholarship, or being selected from the pool of applicants scoring 31 or higher on the ACT (1360 or higher on the SAT). As a result, placement is competitive even within the college.
By offering the leadership studies minor, Harding joins Ivy League schools and other prestigious colleges with similar programs
Sears Honors Center
Sears Collegiate Seminar
The mission of the L.C. Sears Collegiate Seminar Series is to host stimulating public presentations on topical issues relevant to the university community. The goal of each seminar is to encourage public dialogue on important topics, thus bringing together the entire Harding intellectual community.
Under the supervision of the Honors College dean, the Honors College Council proposes topics and speakers of interest to our campus community. Lecturers are contacted and extended an invitation to visit the Harding campus to present their topic of interest to university students and faculty. A question and answer segment always follows the presentation, allowing the audience to participate in thought-provoking discussions with our guest speakers.
The first L.C. Sears Collegiate Seminar Series event was presented in the Fall 2005 semester. Past seminars have focused on issues as diverse as the response of churches to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the Arab/Israeli conflict in the Middle East. The students of the Honors Council look forward to many more seminars on timely issues featuring speakers from diverse backgrounds.
The series is named for L.C. Sears, the first academic dean for Harding. He was an accomplished professor, author, administrator, and Shakespearian academic scholar. The series is intended to pay homage to his quest for academic excellence and the continued pursuit by members of the Harding community.
Spring 2013 Seminar
The Honors College Presents Richard Beck
On January 29, 2013, professor and author Dr. Richard Beck gave a talk entitled "Winter Christians and Sick Souls: Spirituality in an Age of Doubt." He addressed the ways in which we view doubt and spiritual questioning from a psychological perspective, commenting on current directions of study as well as on historical trends. He offered a rebuttal to the Freudian idea that religion is always simply a comforting illusion.
Dr. Beck is the Chair of the Psychology Department at Abilene Christian University. He has published two books, Unclean and The Authenticity of Faith, both of which deal with a field that Dr. Beck terms "Experimental Theology." He writes primarily about the psychology of religion.
Dr. Beck's lecture is part of an ongoing effort to bring speakers to campus through the L.C. Sears Series who will promote critical thinking in such a way that students will be empowered to constructively engage their faith in an increasingly secular world.
Fall 2012 Seminar
The Honors College Presents Elizabeth Bettina
On Thursday, August 30, 2012, Elizabeth Bettina gave a presentation based on her book, "It Happened in Italy: Untold Stories of How the People of Italy Defied the Horrors of the Holocaust."
Ms. Bettina graduated from Smith College with a degree in Economics and Italian Literature. Her varied career has taken her from advertising and marketing to retail and on-air television broadcasting. Her focus since 2006 has been the research and writing of the book "It Happened in Italy" which was published in 2009. Ms. Bettina has spoken around the country about this little-known story of how approximately 80% of the Jews in Italy survived the Holocaust while approximately 80% of the Jews in the rest of occupied Europe perished. She is presently the Co-Executive Producer of a documentary on Jews surviving in Italy during the Holocaust.
Fall 2010 Seminar
The Honors College Presents: Andrew M. Mwenda
The L.C. Sears Collegiate Seminar Series will host a presentation by Andrew M. Mwenda, Ugandan journalist and founder of Uganda's The Independent, on September 30th at 7:00 p.m. in the Heritage Auditorium.
Mwenda, a long-time advocate of economic empowerment and free speech throughout Africa, has been honored with the International Press Freedom Award and named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of 2009's top global thinkers. Mwenda is a Yale fellow in African Studies and has emerged as a leading voice for empowerment in Africa, appearing on CNN, BBC, and the global stage at the TED conference in Arusha, Tanzania in June 2007.
Mwenda will address African development, economic empowerment and the dangers of foreign aid.
Andrew M. Mwenda
Fall 2009 Seminar
Sunday, September 27, 2009 - 7:30 p.m. American Studies 200
Born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, Sasha Dmochowski studied dance with Klara Koenig and at the Boston Ballet School. She danced with Boston Ballet from 1994-2001 where her repertory included Cunningham’s Breakers, Taylor’s Company B, Balanchine’s Serenade, and world premieres of Christopher Wheeldon’s Firebird and Twyla Tharp’s Waterbaby Bagatelles. Dmochowski joined American Ballet Theatre in August 2001 where her repertoire with the Company included Graham’s Diversion of Angels, Tudor’s Dark Elegies, De Mille’s Rodeo, Morris’s Gong, and featured roles in Balanchine’s Theme and Variations, and Mozartiana, Kylian’s Sechs Tanze, and Tharp’s In the Upper Room.
Dmochowski has taught ballet and pointe to adults and children of all ages at the Boston Conservatory and Boston Ballet School and currently teaches pilates at Equinox Fitness clubs in Manhattan. In addition to guest engagements with American Ballet Theatre and other ballet companies, she is currently pursuing a degree in Psychology at Columbia University.
Dmochowski will speak on: Exploring how the human body expresses narrative and emotion through dance, in particular within the rich tradition of classical ballet. Drawing upon her almost twenty years as a professional dancer, she will shed some light inside the world of ballet, and help to demystify and dispel some preconceived notions about what it means to be a physical artist.
Spring 2009 Seminar
Monday, February 9, 7:00 p.m. McInteer 150
Dr. Paz holds a Ph.D. in Archaeology-Anthropology from the Sapienza University of Rome. He is an Israeli citizen and is well known and admired by our HUG students and faculty for his many times serving as Harding's tour guide in Israel. Many will remember him, among other positive things, as the Israeli tour guide with the flute! He presents a balanced view of the Palestine/Israeli situation.
Dr. Paz's main teaching assignment is a Lecturer at the Open University in Tel Aviv. One of his most current teaching experiences involves - The Bible as an Ethno-Anthropological Text: Absalon Institute (1998-2009). Dr. Paz is the chief guide of the Pilgrimage Studies program of Israeli Ministry of Tourism as well as an academic advisor of popular biblical programs on Israeli radio.
Following Dr. Paz's presentation, questions and answers were facilitated by Dr. Dale Manor, Harding's Professor of Archaeology and Bible.
Fall 2008 Seminar
After learning to read at age one and a half, Harding graduate Holly Root was "kicked out" of preschool at age three for reading "Little House on the Prairie" aloud during quiet time. But her childhood days have long passed, and Root has brought her instinctive abilities to New York City where she now works as a literary agent for the Waxman Literary Agency.
Overcoming her life-long battle with math, Root started her literary-driven Harding career at age 15 and graduated in '02 with a degree in English.
On Dec. 2 in the Reynolds Recital Hall, Root returned to campus with her husband, Jonathan, a Harding graduate and Broadway actor. In an effort to illustrate the challenges and triumphs of a career in publishing, Root explained the process of bringing a book from a computer screen to publication as part of the L.C. Sears seminar series.
As a literary agent, Root provides the essential link between a writer and an editor in a personal and intricate process. A writer contacts Root through a query letter that contains who the author is, why they should write, what the book is about and why the book matters. This letter provides the basis for Root to decide whether or not to take on a writer's work.
But simply liking the concept of a book is not enough motivation for Root to take on a project.
"There are lots of books in the universe that I love, but I wouldn't say, ‘I would give my left arm to represent that,'" Root said. "The things that I take on usually hit me in a very visceral way."
In selecting literature, Root becomes the gatekeeper of what will make it into the hands of readers. Because of this role, she feels a sense of duty to make meaningful selections.
"With young adult fiction, I feel more of an obligation because the books that really changed who I am as a human being, I read before I was 16," Root said. "I have passed on young adult projects before because I felt like publishing them would be irresponsible. I like young adult novels to have some value beyond just being fun."
The reaction that Root has to a book becomes the foundation of the bond Root will share with the author.
"I jokingly compare an agent-client relationship to a marriage ... but it has to have that sort of ‘meant to be' about it," she said. "In order for me to go through all of the hoop-jumping of actually selling a book, I have to feel so passionately about it that I feel like if this book gets published, and I'm not a part of it, I just won't be able to live with it. You really have to connect with something on a very strong level."
Once a book passes the initial "yea or nay" read, Root goes to work by selecting which editors and publishing companies would be an appropriate fit for the work.
With hundreds of editors in each publishing house, it becomes her job to know who is best suited for a particular book, make contact with that individual and put the book into his or her hands.
"I am constantly making connections with editors, and figuring out people's likes and dislikes and what they're interested in," Root said. "If you hit at somebody with exactly what they're looking for no matter how crazy [the book] might be, you can really get a great reaction from people, which is why it's such a big part of my job to know who is looking for what."
Yet finding a place for the book to be printed is not Root's only task as an agent.
"From the author's point of view, I'm there as their protector, their guardian and hand-holder," Root said. "I'm part psychologist and part extremely critical reader so that I can help them get their work in the best shape it can be in before I send it to publishers, and [I'm] also there when they freak out because the editor sounded a little upset on the phone. I'm there to calm them down."
As the fuel that launches a book into the right hands, Root is privileged to have a feeling of accomplishment as her clients succeed.
"There's an incredible amount of responsibility and joy [in publishing]," Root said. "If you love books, what is cooler than being able to say, ‘I made that happen. I showed people that that book was worth buying.' The ability to share books with people and get paid for doing it, that's what it's all about for me."
Fall 2006 Seminar
Dr. David Rosand, the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History at Columbia University will present a seminar on the art of Leonardo da Vinci. Professor Rosand is a world-renowned expert on the Renaissance tradition and Venetian art, and is the author of Titian and the Venetian Woodcut (1976), Titian (1978), The Meaning of the Mark: Leonardo and Titian (1988), Painting in Sixteenth-Century Venice: Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto (1982, rev. ed. 1997), Robert Motherwell on Paper (1997), Myths of Venice: The Figuration of a State(2001) and Drawing Acts: Studies in Graphic Expression and Representation(2002). His website.
Spring 2006 Seminar
Peace in Palestine: The Arab-Israeli Conflict and U.S. Foreign Policy. On Thursday, March 2nd, 2006, three religious scholars came together to share their views on the continuing conflict in the Middle East. Rabbi Elliot Gertel of Chicago and Dr. Nabil Bayakly of Memphis presented differing views after an introduction Evertt Huffard, Dean of Harding University's Graduate School of Religion. Student questions followed. The event was attended by approximately 300 students, faculty, and members of the community, as well as representatives of local TV, radio, and print media outlets. A DVD of the Peace in Palestine seminar is available for $5 through the Honors College. Interested persons should call 501-279-4056 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rabbi Elliot B. Gertel, a native of Springfield, MA, attended the Joint Program at Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, earning a B.A. in philosophy and a B.H.L. in Bible. He received a M.H.L. from the Seminary, where he was ordained in 1981. Rabbi Gertel has been spiritual leader of Congregation Rodfei Zedek in Chicago since 1988. In Chicago he has been chairman of the Joint Television Commission of the Jewish Federation and the Chicago Board of Rabbis, President of the Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council, and a board member of the Chicago Jewish Historical Society.
|On the congregational level, Rabbi Gertel has been an innovator whose programs have won Solomon Schechter awards for music and publications and "unique programming." He has pioneered in outreach to synagogue alumni and in joint ventures with other communal agencies, such as Jewish Family Services. |
Rabbi Gertel has been a contributing editor of Conservative Judaism and Jewish Spectator magazines. He has contributed many essays and reviews to popular and scholarly publications in the fields of Jewish thought, Jewish literature and American Jewish history, and, since 1979, has been the media critic for the Jewish Post and Opinion, American Jewry’s longest-running national English-language weekly. His recent books include What Jews Know About Salvation, which prodded the Library of Congress to list "salvation" as a Jewish concept, and Over the Top Judaism, which discusses the depiction of Judaism in film and on television.
Nabil A. Bayakly was born in Kumasi, Ghana in West Africa to Lebanese parents of Turkish descent. During his youth in Tripoli, Lebanon Bayakly graduated from Tripoli Evangelical School and attended the Tripoli Institute for High Islamic Studies for two years. After arriving in the United States in 1979, he earned a PhD from the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Memphis. Dr. Bayakly is currently Assistant Professor of Biology at LeMoyne- Owen College in Memphis as well as Adjunct Professor for Islamic Studies at Memphis Theological Seminary. Bayakly is a cofounder of the Memphis Multireligious Association, serves as Chairman of Muslims in Memphis, and is a member of the Peace and Justice Center for the Midsouth, Diversity Memphis, and the Mayor’s Committee (of Memphis) for Multireligious and Multicultural Affairs. He also holds a Certificate of Achievement from the FBI for Civil Rights Training.
Bayakly has published numerous scientific, religious and sociopolitical papers and has been a guest speaker on Islamic and Middle East issues at many prestigious institutions, including Sewanee, Rhodes, and Columbia. Bayakly was the American-Muslim representative for the Second Asia Pacific Business Conference on Cultural Diversity at the Workplace in Putrajaya, Malaysia in 2005. Dr. Bayakly and his Ethiopian wife have four children, all US citizens.
Evertt W. Huffard is Dean/Executive Director and Professor of Missiology at Harding University Graduate School of Religion, in Memphis, Tennessee. He has been teaching leadership and missiology for 20 years. In 1997 he received the Distinguished Teacher Award from Harding University. His cross-cultural experiences began as a teenager when his parents moved to Jerusalem, Jordan in 1963. He returned to the USA in 1967 and after graduating from Lubbock Christian University (A.A.), Harding University (B.A.), and Harding University Graduate School of Religion (M.A. and M.Th.) he served a church in Nazareth, Israel and taught Bible at the Galilee Christian High School for five years. He completed a Ph.D. in Inter-Cultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary in 1985 with a focus on the Muslim-Christian encounter. In addition to his ten years of urban ministry experience in Los Angeles and Memphis, Dr. Huffard frequently lectures on the Muslim-Christian encounter.
In June, 2000 he served as a co-leader of a delegation of 12 theologians visiting the Israeli and Palestinian delegates in the peace process in Jerusalem. For the past 20 years he has hosted tours to the Holy Land. Since 9/11 he has spoken to over 120 churches and schools on understanding our Muslim neighbors. His most recent trip to the Middle East was in December, 2004. Evertt and his wife, Ileene, have three children, and five grandchildren.
Called to Care: AIDS and Christian Compassion
On November 15th, 2005, Dr. Bruce Smith and Dr. Anna Griffith shared their views on the current state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the approaches churches should be taking in order to combat it. The event was an encouraging success, with over two hundred concerned students and faculty present. After presenting for an hour and a half Dr. Smith and Dr. Griffith answered many more questions from those present. The promotional video for the seminar as well as an audio recording of the event are available below.
Bruce Smith is a Christian HIV physician with training and experience in Family Practice, International Health and Public Health. He is an elder of the Redlands, California, Church of Christ and works for the Public Health Department of San Bernardino County. He is a graduate of Harding and the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, and spent eight years in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Guatemala as a medical missionary. Most recently he has made two trips to Africa to learn from church leaders what should be done about the HIV crisis there and to lead church leaders in choosing courses of action.
Anna Griffith was born and raised in Levelland, TX. After high school she attended and received a professional certificate from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Along with numerous other degrees, Dr. Griffith holds the Doctor of Ministry from Abilene Christian University. She is the author of Balance: A Modern Christian Challenge and From Paul to Philippi, With Love, along with numerous articles in "Wineskins," "Christian Chronicle," and other publications. She became involved with AIDS when she learned that a family member was HIV+, who then challenged her by stating (truthfully) that the church at the time was doing nothing about AIDS.
History of the Honors College
The history of Harding University's Honors College is an uninterrupted success story that tells a tale of exponential academic enrichment. Dr. Larry Long founded the Honors Program (as it was then called) in 1989. Long felt that Harding University's most talented and scholarly students would benefit from a special program that allowed them to approach their studies in creative, advanced ways.
The program started off with 19 students who have since gone on to become lawyers, doctors, business leaders and college instructors. By 1998, it had expanded to over 500 students and was transformed into its own college. The Honors College has since become a major social and intellectual force on campus. It now has more than 1000 members, about 150 of whom are part of the upper-tier Honors Scholar group.
Distinguished professor Jeffrey Hopper replaced Larry Long as the dean of the Honors College in 2001. Debbie Baird joined the Honors College at the same time. Mrs. Baird acts as a special academic advisor to honors students - a service not available at any other college on campus - and coordinates honors contracts.
Current honors students come from most majors and many different countries. They frequently move on to successful careers, and often place at the most prestigious graduate schools, including Ivy League and other first-tier graduate programs. Like the first honors class, they benefit from a quality program that stresses academic excellence, independence, thoughtfulness, service, fun and friendship.
Finally, the honors student officers, too, have established a tradition of service that greatly contributes to the college. Owing to their initiative, the Honors College has established a legacy of working with the Searcy Children's Home, Habitat for Humanity, and the Searcy Sunshine School for the differently able. Habitat for Humanity in White County was actually established by the Honors College and its council president, Hillary Kennington Mount, who is now a physician.
On June 1, 2011 Dr. J. Warren Casey became the Dean of the Honors College.
The history of the Harding University Honors College is the story of people making the most from their undergraduate experience, working to learn about life and to live as God would have them. It is the story of talent, dedication, excitement, discipline and growth. It is the story of Christian education at its best.
Great Plains Honors Council
Sears Honors Center
What is the "Sears" Honors Center?
The Sears Honors Center is located in a beautiful house on the Harding University campus (704 East Center Street). The house was built in 1950 and served as a private residence until purchased by Harding. For a time the house housed female students, and later it was used for storage purposes. During the spring of 2005 the facility was completely remodeled inside and out. It now houses offices for the Honors College, Honors Symposium, and International Programs.
Why is it called the "Sears" Honors Center?
L. C. Sears served as the first academic dean for Harding. His life had a huge impact on the University during her early years. He was an accomplished professor, author, administrator, and Shakespearian academic scholar. His family still lives in Searcy, and the facility was named to honor him and his legacy.
What's in the Honors Center?
The interior structure of the center was not altered structurally. Instead, the space has been transformed into offices, while keeping a fully functional kitchen and a comfortable, inviting living room.
The living room is large and open and contains soft leather furniture, and a fireplace.
The kitchen (probably the most popular room in the house) is maintained in 1950’s retro style. It’s equipped with an oven and stove, refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher, as well as pots and pans and cooking utensils.
The back yard consists of comfortable patio seating and an enormous gas grill built especially for the Honors Center.
Are there computers available for student use?
Yes. There are currently six laptop computers available for students to either use in the house or check out for a few days. These computers are capable of being used for preparing research papers and other homework, and also for internet research. The computers also have wireless capabilities, so a student may, for example, sit on the couch in front of the fire and check e-mail or research a project. A second wireless antenna has recently been added to provide maximum coverage.
How is the Sears Honors Center used?
The center is a great gathering place for meeting friends, studying, and just hanging out. Picnics, meetings, small classes, study groups and group meals (e.g. chili day) occur regularly. The living room is a wonderful place to relax or work on homework. The kitchen may be used to cook ‘home-cooked’ meals or meet friends for sandwiches. The back yard is a wonderful place for picnics and small gatherings or classes. The Honors Center is intended to enrich the honors students’ experience in the Honors College and is available for most Honors-sponsored events and activities.