Honors Program holds recognition ceremony for Honors Degree candidates
Alan Fox, right, director of the Honors Program, congratulates a student.
UD President Patrick Harker addresses Honors students, noting that they made a conscious choice to challenge themselves.
Jon Urick, a 2008 UD graduate, discussed the benefits derived from the Honors Program.


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2:54 p.m., June 4, 2010----The University of Delaware Honors Program, which provides enhanced educational opportunities for exceptional students, held its annual Honors Degree Medal ceremony on Friday, May 28, in the Trabant University Center.

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A total of 181 graduating students -- 127 Honors Degree candidates and 54 Honors Degree with Distinction candidates -- were recognized for their academic achievements, and were presented special medals honoring their hard work.

UD President Patrick Harker said the Honors Program graduates had made a conscious choice to set out on a “formidable path,” to challenge themselves, to test their limits and to take advantage of the full University of Delaware experience.

“There is no substitute for curiosity and drive and hard, hard work,” he said. “You committed to these things, and you found a community of like-minded people: classmates, colleagues and faculty who pushed you to do more, to not let youth or inexperience hold you back.”

He said the graduates are not at an end but at a beginning, and encouraged them to “go do some truly great things.”

Harker gave a nod to the guidance of faculty and families in the accomplishments of the students.

Faculty “helped you turn dreams into plans, and ideas into action,” he said. “They were invested in you because your success is theirs, too.”

Families, he said, “instilled in these men and women a drive to push themselves beyond ordinary.”

Honors Program Director Alan Fox said of these students, “It is impossible to listen to their litany of success, and not be hopeful about the future that we are placing in their hands.”

Also addressing the group was Jon Urick, a 2008 UD graduate and president of the newly formed Honors Alumni Club. Urick emphasized the relationships he formed and opportunities from which he benefited while in the Honors Program, and noted, “as you reflect this morning on the great opportunities afforded you as Delaware Honors students, I encourage you to consider how you can begin to give back to the University and future students. We have all benefited from the tremendous generosity of the Delaware alumni who have gone before us. Their investment in each of us helps make possible the enrichment activities, out of classroom experiences, and ultimately the community that all define an Honors education.”

To earn an Honors baccalaureate degree, a student must meet all University and college graduation requirements for a particular major and also graduate with a GPA of at least 3.4 and at least 30 credits earned in honors classes, including a three-credit honors seminar or capstone course. In addition to those requirements, a student earning an Honors Degree with Distinction must complete a six-credit honors thesis and defend it before a faculty committee.

The University Honors Program enrolls about 450 freshmen each year and is designed for students who want to take on additional academic challenges. Honors instruction emphasizes writing, original analysis, interdisciplinary study, and close interactions with faculty members. For more information, visit the Honors Program website.