UH welcomes incoming Honors College students
Mayor Bill White, the keynote speaker at Thursday’s Honors College introductory convocation, spoke of the importance of valuing academics as an opportunity.
The event, held Thursday at the University Hilton Grand Ballroom, gave students a look at the importance of being involved with their University.
‘You have strong academics so you know the importance of learning and the importance of education,’ said White, whose final term ends in January. ‘You know what it means to work in an international honors economy. This is an evolution of your life and a degree of independence.
‘How you learn and the attitude you take to something that might be daunting, and the confidence you take in that skill is one of the strategies of mastering something complex and something that will be the most valuable thing you can learn in a university environment.’
White also spoke about his involvement in helping UH become a superior research university and how he believes UH is on the path to becoming a distinguished institution.
‘This is a premier institution in the fourth-largest city in the United States. The tide of history is on your side in a country that set the standard for what it means to have a higher education system,’ White said.
‘The University of Houston is on an upward trajectory that will take it right where it needs to be as one of the great public institutions of this nation and this world. And you’re here for a great time.’
UH President Renu Khator spoke about her hopes of seeing UH become a flagship university. She believes that it is the students who can justify the future of UH.
‘You’re here at a very special time and at a very special university,’ Khator said. ‘We promise that when students graduate, they will leave as global leaders. We’ve also promised that we will become a (flagship) university.
‘It’s not the (matter) of ‘if’; it’s a question of ‘When?’ A (flagship) university is not only about research. It’s about you. It’s about the students. You are the ones who define us here.’
She urged students to take part in a Nov. 3 statewide referendum, which will acknowledge the proposition for UH as a flagship university.
‘You will have a defining moment in your life at this university without even opening your pocketbook and that is on Nov. 3,’ Khator said. ‘I am a state employee, and I cannot tell you how to vote, but I’m going to tell you how I’m going to vote. I’m going to vote ‘yes’ for that proposition.’
According to the Honors College Web site, the average honors student graduates in the top 10 percent of his graduating high school class and records a minimum score of 1270 on the SAT, but these numbers aren’t used as thresholds for admission.
Each student will be evaluated individually through an interview process, by telephone or in person. Honors College applicants can also apply for specialized scholarships.
The Honors College, which falls under the supervision of Dean William Monroe, also puts on an annual two-day retreat in Navasota. The event is held for incoming freshmen and transfers every summer the weekend before school starts.
‘We met a lot of people,’ Cameron McHugh said. ‘It was a good social gathering. We had lectures on how to study abroad and discussions about the school year. ‘I recommend this program. It makes everyone comfortable around each other so were not uncomfortable on the first day of class.’
The college sets specific requirements for students. They have to complete at least 36 hours of honors courses and have taken a minimum of one honors course per semester before graduating.