Graduating with honors

Relatively recent Hamline Honors Program is still growing.

Madelaine Formica, Reporter

In the class of 2017, nine students are graduating with Honors. Eight to thirteen students graduate with University Honors a year. Students may apply for the Honors Program in their first or second year at Hamline. These students have to accomplish four requirements to complete Hamline’s Honors Program: Academic excellence, a research project, contribution to community and development of lifelong learning. Right now there are a hundred students at Hamline enrolled in the Honors Program.

Academic excellence has students keep their GPA at a 3.4 or higher. Each student in the University Honors Program must complete a research project, along with completing 100 points in commitment to community by completing 50 hours of community service and being involved in different Hamline organizations and retreats. Development of lifelong learning has students go to Hamline events, workshops and conventions then write a reflection on the event. 

“It got me out of my comfort zone,” senior Fathima Mohamed said. “It pushed me to learn outside of the classroom, to continue to be engaged in the community, to investigate through formal research projects or through my own hobbies, and I think it’ll also force me to continue to reflect about my experiences.”

Many of the Honor students repeated how the reflections were the most helpful and the hardest part of the program. 

“What I’ve gotten the most out of [the Honors Program] is being able to reflect, but it’s hard to remember to do the reflections in a timely manner,” senior Brenna Bloome said. “And I think it also gave me confidence in myself.”

Bloome explained how there is an introduction to honors class that Honor students can take and learn how to do reflections, find volunteer opportunities and hear from other Honor students about the opportunities they found and how they can meet their goals.

“A lot of the things that were required to meet Honors were things I was already planning on doing, so it was a good way for me to be kept accountable for the goals I had,” senior Emily Wollmuth said. 

Along with the University Honors program there is also the Latin Honors, which celebrate a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Forty percent of students graduate with Latin Honors a year. Honorary Societies, such as Omicron Delta Kappa who honor those that excel in academics while being involved on campus, reward those in different fields. There are nine different Honorary Societies, allowing a variety of interests to be honored.

The Honors Program is young, starting in 2012. In 2014, the first student graduated with Honors. Director of Honors Program, Susie Steinbach is hopeful that the Honors Program will grow in years to come.

“I’m hoping as time goes on that our numbers will grow and that five to seven percent of graduates will be university honors,” Steinbach said.

The Honors Program at Hamline is also unique in that it allows transfer students to apply. Transfer students must still complete all four requirements, but they only have to earn half the points for all the requirements.

“If someone starts, but doesn’t finish I think that’s still great,” Steinbach said. “If someone was inspired to study abroad when they wouldn’t have, or attend lectures when they wouldn’t have, or do a second internship when they wouldn’t have, even if they didn’t complete University Honors they still did all those individual things.”