Story By Stephanie Cobb
Visitors to the infirmary building may notice that the words “Honors Program” are no longer on the blue sign outside. Indeed, the Honors Program can now be found on the second floor of Walker Hall, the former home of the Center for Jewish Studies. Walker Hall is located on Union Road, just east of the Plaza of the Americas.
The new Honors office is larger than the old office. According to Dr. Melissa Johnson, the associate director of the Honors Program, the move was necessary to expand the Honors program.
“We were pretty landlocked in the infirmary. We had lost some of our office spaces to the Innovation Academy as they expanded their staff…If we wanted to expand our staff, we would have to look for other spaces.”
She added, “In the SEC, we’re one of the largest Honors programs…in terms of number of students…and the smallest staff. So finally we are able to get some new faculty lines to add some new advisors, fellowship advisors, pre-health advisors.”
The university considered several locations for the new office, including the 105 Classroom Building, which is across University Avenue.
“I really didn’t think that was a good location. It’s not very visible for an Honors Program that is attracting top students to the university,” Dr. Johnson said.
There was also a discussion about building onto Hume Hall. Ultimately, Walker Hall proved to be a good fit for the program.
Within the new office are spaces for each of the Honors staff members, as well as a conference room that Dr. Johnson noted could be used for a seminar-style class.
The Walker Hall office will provide Honors with room to grow in preparation for the new Honors residence hall, which is expected to be completed in 2023. When this space opens, it will contain all of the services offered in the current office.