By Roo Rusk, Staff Writer
Graduation is about to get a little more color. This year, several graduating students involved in the honors program at Newman will get the chance to wear special green and yellow cords.
The high-achievers known as the “honors students” typically spend a significant portion of their freshman year in an honors learning community, and must later maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 as well as multiple classes and seminars to graduate from the program. Many claim to owe much of their success at Newman to the program.
“The freshman honors seminar course challenged me to place myself in other people’s shoes and make sound arguments from different perspectives, and taking other honors courses and designing my own around existing classes helped me to delve deeper into course material,” senior Linnea Ristow said.
With the numerous requirements needed to maintain “honors” status, many students are in support of the recognition via graduation cords.
“We work hard, and with the credits we have to complete, it’s basically another minor to graduate from the honors program. Some denotation for that will be awesome, I think. But maybe I’m biased” freshman Allison Williams said.
Williams said the cords are well-deserved recognition for their academic achievements.
“We’re not a cult, or think we’re better than anyone else; we’re people too.”
As a senior, Ristow says she was instrumental in getting the cords approved by administration this year.
“Annie Dang and I had polled the honors community to gauge the interest level of students in having cords or stoles, and then Dr. McFall did the work of applying for the permission to do so.”
Dr. Kelly McFall said, “Graduating from the honors program also signals to employers and graduate/professional schools that these students are exceptionally desirable students and employees.”
The group had been pushing to get to wear the cords for many years now, but needed membership to a nationally recognized organization to qualify.
“Students who graduate from the Honors Program wear a cord representing Newman’s membership in the National Council of Honors Colleges,” McFall said.
PHOTO: HONORS STUDENTS will now be able to wear cords at graduation. Courtesy photo, Newman Advancement