University News

Western New England University Celebrates 24th Annual Honors Program with Presidential Reception

Published: November 02, 2023 | Categories: Arts and Sciences, All News
First year honors students on the University Commons rooftop terrace

In a remarkable gathering of academic excellence and achievement, Western New England University (WNE) marked the Annual Honors Program with a distinguished first-year presidential reception. The event, hosted on the University Commons' rooftop terrace, brought together esteemed administrators and exceptional students who have embarked on a journey of scholarly pursuit.

The Honors Program is a prestigious platform open to students who have been invited by their respective colleges. This program is designed to offer academically qualified and highly motivated students the chance to engage with a community of like-minded peers and immerse themselves in challenging courses delivered by some of the university's most distinguished faculty members. It provides students with the opportunity to explore a variety of disciplines alongside fellow Honors students, transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries and broadening their educational horizons. Furthermore, students actively participate in leadership activities that are closely tied to the Honors Program.

WNE President Robert E. Johnson warmly welcomed the new class into this distinguished program, with an inspiring message, urging students to persist, pursue their dreams, and journey toward a brighter future. "I commend each and every one of you for your hard work, for your dedication, and for the possibilities of realizing your dreams, your goals, and your aspirations. So, I simply will say to each of you: Continue to put one step in front of the other. The best is yet to come. And the only direction you'll go if you follow those guidelines is forward."

Dr. Marcus Davis, Dean of the Western New England University College of Arts & Sciences, emphasized the importance of finding an authentic voice. "As you go out into the world full of noise, it's not really the loudest voice that is heard, it's the most authentic voice that is actually heard. It's important that yours is unique among all the other voices that are out there." Dr. Davis encouraged students to begin the life-long process of intentionally curating and maintaining that voice, which will set them apart and make a meaningful impact in their careers and lives.

Highlighting the celebration was the presentation of the Charles Fish Prize for excellence. This accolade recognizes not only academic excellence but also outstanding service to the Honors Program community. Receiving the award were Lucas Garcia, hailing from East Longmeadow, MA, who is pursuing a major in Computer Science, and Lindsey Labbe, who was raised in North Stonington, Connecticut but is now a resident of Springfield, MA. Labbe is in the 3 + 3 pre-law program and majoring in Integrated Liberal Studies with concentrations in Law and Society and Psychology.

"Lucas and Lindsey, both outstanding students from our community, have exemplified the true spirit of the Honors Program through their commitment to academic excellence and their dedication to serving the program," said Dr. John Baick who directs the Honors Program. "The Charles Fish Prize is a testament to their exceptional contributions."

The festivities concluded with a memorable photo session where students took selfies with the keynote speakers.