Honors Program Alumni eNewsletter (Spring 2014)

Director’s Message

I’ve been thinking about numbers a lot lately. I’ve always liked numbers. I like the order and structure they bring to our lives. My childhood was filled with music, which has a well-documented relationship to math and numbers. I also have fond memories of family road trips that always included a lively round of “fun with fractions,” led by my dad.  It is beyond safe to say that I am genetically predisposed in my gravitation toward numbers. In my role as the Honors Program Director, numbers are now important to me for many reasons, not the least of which is that they provide my staff members in Honors and me with data.

Here are a few interesting numbers that I want to share with you:

  • 300 – For the past two years, we have had approximately 300 students graduate each year as Honors Scholars, roughly double the figure from 2004. It looks like 2014 could be a banner year for Honors Scholar graduates, too.
  • 453 – We welcomed a record-breaking 453 first-year students to the Honors Program this year. The Honors First-Year Community in Buckley Hall is bursting at the seams, so much so that we will be expanding to part of Shippee Hall next year. Our Honors Programming and Events staff members that work in Buckley are excited to have even more first-year students near them in the fall.
  • 1414 – That’s the average SAT score (math and verbal) of our first-year class in Honors. This number is a true testament to the wonderful students that are coming to UConn Honors. Though this is only one indicator of excellence, I am encouraged by the fact that this number continues to be robust even as we cultivate and grow the number of students entering Honors each year.
  • 330,000 – This number really needs a dollar sign in front of it, but that would interfere with the format of my list! $330,000 is the approximate figure we provided to undergraduate students last year in support of their research and creative scholarship, with nearly 34% of the $236,000 SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fund) funding supplied by alumni like you who gave to Honors and UConn. We are the envy of our peer institutions due to this level of student support, and it would not be possible without the generous giving of our alumni.
  • 50 – I’ve saved the best for last. The 2014 – 2015 academic year marks the 50th anniversary of the Honors Program at UConn. For our golden anniversary, we’re busy planning and working on a set of programs and events that we hope will bring you back to campus so that you may reconnect with UConn and Honors. Be on the lookout – we’ll be sending more information your way soon. For now, keep this number in mind.

We’ve come a long way in 50 years, and we are looking forward to celebrating our accomplishments and yours in the coming year. Here’s one last number, just in case you need it: 860-486-4223. If you have ideas, news, questions, or data of your own that you’d like to share, we’ll be at the other end of that number.  We’re always happy to hear from you!

Best Regards,
Jennifer Lease Butts, Ph.D.

Assistant Vice Provost, Enrichment Programs and Director, Honors Program

What’s New

Nursing alumna epitomizes work-life balance
Jane (Presnick) Lyon ’78 (NURS-Honors) has ties to UConn that run deep. Read more.

Honors Scholar adds an Emmy to his resume
“When I first started working in lighting, I always had my sights set on winning a Tony Award on Broadway,” said Dan Rousseau ’08 (FNAR-Honors). Read more.

Language leads Honors Scholars to teach
Amy Nocton, B.A. ’92 (CLAS-Honors), M.A. ’93 (CLAS) became a teacher by chance. Once in the classroom, her love for the Spanish language inspired her students to love it as well. Read more.

Class Notes
Check out what your former classmates are doing in the Spring 2014 Class Notes!

In Other News

Groomed to Guide World Diplomacy
Undergraduate Student Attends Fulbright Summer Institute
Recent Graduate to Present Senior Design Project to NASA Engineers

Youth Civic Engagement and Model United Nations
Student Interns Learn from Alumni Mentors

Interested in Giving?

If you would like information about giving opportunities to the Honors Program, please contact Katrice Sponzo (UConn Foundation, Leadership Giving) at (860) 486-1565 or ksponzo@foundation.uconn.edu.

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