UNF to institute Honors College

Christian Ayers

Hicks Honors College will replace UNF’s Honors Program. Photo by Christian Ayers.

UNF President John Delaney announced the addition of the Hicks Honors College in a press conference held at UNF’s Student Union Oct. 15. UNF will become the sixth university in Florida to implement an Honors College on its campus.

“The university is so grateful for the generosity of Ann and David over the years,” Delaney said. “We’re thrilled to announce the establishment of the Hicks Honors College, which will provide a unique interdisciplinary learning experience for some of UNF’s high-achieving students.”

Ann and David Hicks have pledged a $7 million donation for the Honors College, one of the highest ever donations to UNF by alumni. $180,000 per year will come out of that donation to fund study abroad scholarships for 60 Honors College students.

University officials began planning the Honors College in October 2014, and UNF’s Board of Trustees (BOT) approved the Honors College on Oct. 15, in a board meeting right before Delaney’s announcement.

UNF Provost Earle Traynham said the Hicks Honors College will help make sure honors students complete the honors program through graduation.

 

UNF will be the sixth university in Florida to house an Honors College. Photo by Christian Ayers
UNF will be the sixth university in Florida to house an Honors College. UNF will house the sixth honors college in the state, joining Florida International, Florida Atlantic, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, and New College of Florida. Photo by Christian Ayers

“Many of these [honors] students do not complete the honors thesis required at the end of the program,” Traynham said. “We believe this addition will keep honors students actively engaged for all four years.”

Vice President for University Development and Alumni Engagement Joshua Merchant said that the idea of having an Honors College at UNF was a primary vision of Ann and David Hicks.

“This is to create an atmosphere of opportunity for current and future students to excel academically, and to achieve interdisciplinary in ways that are not currently available to them,” Merchant said.

During the BOT meeting, the Hicks’ highlighted what they said was a great educational opportunity for UNF’s academically inclined.

“These high achievers have the benefit of small classes and intimate learning experiences, while participating in the dynamic atmosphere of the larger university,” Ann Hicks said.

2. Delaney with Honors students
UNF’s current freshman class averaged a 4.02 GPA entering fall 2015. Photo by Christian Ayers.

There are about 580 total students in UNF’s Honors Program, according to a press release from UNFDirector of Public Relations Joanna Norris.

 

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