Sunday marked the annual University Honors Program Recognition Ceremony for graduating Honors students.
The ceremony recognizes NIU honors students who have completed the necessary requirements to graduate from the University Honors Program. Family, friends, faculty and staff were in attendance for the ceremony which took place in the Duke Ellington Ballroom.
Students in the University Honors Program have the option to graduate with one of three honors distinctions based on the number of credit hours taken within the program.
- Lower Division Honors represents the completion of 15 semester hours of honors courses including a Lower Division seminar.
- The Upper Division Honors distinction is awarded to students who complete 12 semester hours of 300 or 400 level coursework including an honors seminar course and an honors capstone project.
- The final level of distinction is Full University Honors, which is awarded to students who complete the necessary requirements for both Lower and Upper Division Honors with 12 semester hours of coursework outside the major area.
All students enrolled in the University Honors Program must also maintain good standing in the program and meet GPA requirements.
President Doug Baker spoke highly of the quality and importance of the University Honors Program at the ceremony. Also in attendance were Interim Provost Lisa Freeman, Vice Provost Anne Birberick and other NIU administrators and faculty who helped present the graduation regalia and certificates of distinction to the students.
“This ceremony is always a special one for our students and our program,” said J.D. Bowers, associate vice provost for the University Honors Program. “It is a day to truly recognize and celebrate all the incredible work and dedication our students have put forth during their years at Northern. Each University Honors student has shown a commitment to excellence and helped raise this university to new heights.”
One student from each academic class was given the enhancement award to recognize his or her active involvement and commitment to the University Honors Program. Recipients included Jesse Laseman, Kenneth Barnett, Sarah Trygstad and Tyler Hendry.
The ceremony also included special awards given to NIU faculty and staff that have shown exemplary passion and leadership in honors education.
This year’s University Honors Great Professor award was given to Nicholas Pohlman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering for his work in establishing a University Honors track and course program for the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology.