Honors Program Alumni eNewsletter (Fall 2011)

A Message from the Director

To our Honors alumni,

Can you believe it has been nearly 50 years since President Babbidge envisioned an Honors Program to educate the best and brightest college students from the state of Connecticut and beyond? A handful of outstanding students joined the freshman class in 1964, and they were followed by thousands. Many of these accomplished alumni have, indeed, fulfilled President Babbidge’s dream.

As director of UConn Honors, I have had the privilege of working with extraordinary students and alumni during the past nine years. It has been a goal of mine to share their stories with you, and generally to keep you up to date with news on how—and what—your Honors Program is doing. Since I arrived in 2002 we have been growing and developing at a breath-taking speed, and there has been little time to step back and talk about our work.

The publication of this e-newsletter changes all that. From now on, UConn Honors alumni can look forward to receiving an enewsletter each semester that will keep you informed about some of the most noteworthy people, initiatives, and accomplishments of UConn Honors.

Our goal at UConn Honors is to provide an academic and collegiate experience to rival or surpass what is offered at any elite, competitive college or university in this nation. That is a tall order. But I would say (immodestly) that we are succeeding, and you will learn how in this, and future, issues.

Like Homer Babbidge, I had a vision when I came to UConn—to cultivate a program where high achieving, ambitious, and engaged student scholars and leaders develop and retain strong identities as members of the UConn Honors community—while here as students and afterwards, for their lifetimes. I know we have some work to do to make this vision a reality for some of our alumni. But I am confident that as you read these stories, you will share my sense of pride in what your program and the people connected with it are doing. Whether your graduation year was 1968 or 2008, we consider you a member of the UConn Honors community.

Dr. Lynne Goodstein
Director of the Honors Program

Young scholars discover potential through Holster grants
By Cheryl Cranick, Honors Program

In September, Robert Holster ’68 witnessed the culmination of his generosity: the first Holster Scholar presentations. His $1 million gift, given jointly by his wife Carlotta ’68, funds the Holster Scholar First Year Project, sponsoring Honors student research. But it has a unique qualification: the grants are given to first years. Read more.

Recent alumni pay it forward with new giving fund
By Cheryl Cranick, Honors Program

A $10,000 gift established a new Honors giving fund this summer. Its donors are three Honors alumni who’ve graduated within the past six years. According to one of the fund’s creators, Nate Eaton ’05, “Our vision for the Young Honors Alumni Fund is to provide a mechanism through which young alumni can give back to the students of the Honors Program so that they may fulfill their own vision of an Honors experience at UConn.” Read more.

Honors graduate puts problem-solving skills into practice
By the Honors Program

Outside the window of his classroom was a view of the Mexican border. His students were children growing up too fast in a climate of border violence and poverty. But Jeffrey “Steve” Ferketic ’08 found a way to reach them. Ferketic joined Teach for America, seeking to make a difference in the lives of south Texas students. A biology and political science double major in the Honors Program, Ferketic was inspired by the other teachers in his family. He also knew his UConn education had prepared him for the challenges of this experience. Read more.

Class Notes
Find out what your former classmates are doing now. Check out the Honors Class Notes!

Honors Alumni Events
Attention Honors alums in Boston and New York City: We are currently planning networking events in your area. They will be co-hosted by Honors and local alumni! We are still finalizing the details, but we know they will be in early May. Stay tuned by email for more information!

Keep in Touch
Let’s continue the conversation. We would love to hear your thoughts about this e-newsletter and the direction of the program. Email us!

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