As I write this message, it is an exciting time for the Campus Honors Program (CHP). We were able to acquire some funding and are currently in the process of giving a facelift to the interior of the Honors House. The entire interior of the building is being repainted, and new carpeting will be installed throughout. Several offices will receive new furniture, and we are creating an additional lounge on the 3rd floor where students can come to study, relax, converse, and play games. We recognize that our students are some of the busiest people on campus, so finding a space for them to take a breath and bond with other honors students is important to us. For now, we have temporarily relocated to the Student Dining and Residential Programs building in order to accommodate asbestos removal and the need for workers to access the building in a timely manner so we can be ready for the Fall 2017 semester to begin. We look forward to sharing pictures with you in the near future.
This past year was particularly special because we celebrated our 30th Anniversary. We kicked off the event with an informal Friday evening social. On Saturday we hosted a campus tour, lunch at the Honors House, tea at the Japan House, and a formal dinner at the Illini Union where Erika Harold, former CHP Student and Miss American 2003, provided a highly inspirational talk. After a wonderful brunch on Sunday, we said a sad farewell to many former students with the hope they will return in five years for our next reunion celebration.
It was the inaugural year of the Honors Living Learning Community in Nugent Hall which proved to be a huge success under the leadership of Brian Moffitt. The student return rate and requests from incoming students for beds in this facility was astonishing. Thus, we hope to increase capacity next year. A newly initiated Student Advisory Committee along with the Honors Student Council provided excellent leadership and suggestions for new and exciting activities. We initiated a more formal commencement reception that continued to include lots of food and socializing. Students were individually recognized and provided with their honors cords, and Sam Walder and Evan Ramos gave outstanding and humorous student remarks. Rachel Briones and Evan Ramos received the Calvin Ke Award, and CHP faculty member, Jennifer Gunji Ballsrud, received the King Broadrick-Allen Award.
In addition to continuing some of our most popular Scholars Adventurers Series events, new activities were incorporated into the program. Chancellor Robert Jones came to the Honors House for lunch with some of our student leaders. We also developed a beautiful promotional brochure that we will use to highlight the many opportunities the CHP offers. If you would like a copy of this publication, please let us know.
As always, we have many exciting plans in the coming year. Despite the state budget crisis, we have continued to offer opportunities to students that only the CHP can provide, and we are planning for new activities and trips. This year our Orientation will include CHP t-shirts for incoming students, a sit-down breakfast at the Illini Union, and a celebration in the evening where we will welcome students to the newly decorated Honors House.
If you are in the area, please be sure to stop by and say hello.
Kim C. Graber, Ed.D.
Director, Campus Honors Program
Professor, Kinesiology and Community Health