HU to launch honors program in fall 2014

HUNTINGTON, Ind. Huntington University is launching an honors program this fall to cultivate a higher level of learning among students.

The program is designed to appeal to strong students who want to challenge themselves to explore and understand the greatest ideas and authors in history.

The program will be based on the Great Books curriculum, which are books that are considered the foundation of western literature. For each course, students will be required to read two texts of cultural significance, such as "War and Peace" or the works of Aristotle or Plato; attend lectures; produce an independent project; perform 20 hours of service; and attend cultural events, such as a professional theatrical performance.

"I'm thrilled that we're starting an honors program, and I'm excited that the Great Books are at the heart of it," said Dr. Del Doughty, interim vice president for academic affairs. "For students who want to improve their critical thinking skills or build a stronger vocabulary or become more eloquent speakers and writers, there's no more effective means of doing so than the Great Books curriculum. There's a reason it's been around for centuries."

A distinctive of the HU Great Books list will be its inclusion of non-Western texts on the reading list.

The honors program aims to build campus leaders who will advance a sense of learning among themselves as well as other students on campus.

"Although the program is designed for high-achieving, ambitious students, we will also arranged the program so that anyone can participate in readings, lectures and social media," Doughty said. "In this program, everyone can win, and everyone will win."

At launch, the program will accept 10 students based on academic achievement and a commitment to serving others. The program aims to grow each year to fit the needs of students.