In 1961, President Millett founded the University Honors Program, and over 150 first-year students enrolled in it. One year later, honors courses were offered in almost every department on campus, a student advisory council was formed, newsletters and coffee hours created, two residence halls opened, and a part-time director appointed. The number of students in the program continued to expand for the next ten years, reaching a total of 1000 students in 1970.
Two years later, the political climate of Miami shifted, and the UHP was eliminated and replaced with a “General Honors Curriculum,” which consisted of regular courses supplemented with special projects, was directed by a faculty committee, and was open to any student. In 1982, a formal program was re-instituted with a new director appointed, advising options, student board, a first-year colloquium, and a co-educational honors residence. Over the next decade, a new full-tuition merit scholarship program (Harrison Scholars Program) was instituted, endowed research funds secured, and a summer internship program developed. Approximately 15-20 honors courses were offered each year.
As a result of increasing competition for high-ability students from other institutions across the region and nation, Miami decided in 2000 to assess the University Honors Program again. After benchmarking against exemplary honors programs and colleges, the UHP was expanded to include a new faculty mentoring program, a more expansive set of requirements, an array of new courses, a tuition waiver for summer study, and the development of two tiers of students, who would have varying levels of requirements. The staff was increased from two positions to nine (including a full-time director).
Throughout the 2000s, the University Honors Program expanded significantly in size and diversity. Responding to changing student needs, the Program restructured again in fall 2009, moving to a new curricular model that offers highly talented students expanded opportunities to fulfill their University liberal education requirements in individually tailored ways. Today, the Honors Program serves close to 1500 undergraduates arrayed throughout the University. It features an individualized portfolio-based curriculum, intensive one-on-one advisement, a holistic admission process, and a sequenced and developmentally appropriate range of learning experiences. The program also offers three honors residential halls for students at various stages in their careers as well as grant opportunities for student-initiated projects and other intense learning opportunities.
Highlights from Years Past:
- 1961: The University Honors Program is founded
- 1972: The formal Honors Program is disbanded and replaced by a General Honors Curriculum open to all Miami students
- 1981: The Honors Student Advisory Board (HSAB) is created and Bishop Hall is designated as the Honors residence hall.
- 1982: The formal University Honors Program is reinstated with Dr. Ellison serving as Director. An honors student newsletter, Honors Encounter, is created.
- 1983: Associate Director, Dr. Nault, and HSAB plan and implement the first summer reading program.
- 1986: The Senior Thesis was implemented as a requirement for University Honors.
- 1988: The Harrison Scholarship Program is implemented
- 1989: Dr's. Nault and Cayton revise the mission of the Honors Program, to be in-line with the new Miami Plan.
- 1990: The Urban Leadership Internship Program begins
- 1991: The first research scholar room is established and the Bishop Debate Society is formed.
- 1992: The first Honors Alumni reunion is held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Honors Program and the first Goldman Prize is awarded.
- 1993: The First-Year Honors Colloquium is designed and implemented by HSAB
- 1994: The first Honors Program web page goes live and Friday High Teas begin as an Honors tradition.
- 1995: The Donald C. Faber Distinguished Scholar in Residence is established
- 1996: The Miami University-Cambridge Program begins.
More from the Chronology Report (pdf) >>