Honors students can be found pursuing majors in each of Loyola's four colleges, engaging in a wide variety of extracurricular activities and participating as members of many student organizations. Many Honors students are active and have leadership positions in university clubs, intercollegiate and intramural sports, fraternities and sororities, and student government activities.
The University Honors Program, however, is not merely a checklist of experiences, it is a community of relationships. Honors students commonly develop a strong sense of bonding and camaraderie with other Honors students, as they share intense intellectual experiences, study and relax together in the Honors “Castle” and “Tower” in Monroe Library or in the Honors Themed Living Community, and participate in Honors co-curricular activities. Honors co-curricular activities are varied and consistently foster a connection among our students; many Honors students view these peer relationships as the most significant benefit of their membership in the University Honors Program.
The emphasis on community extends beyond the walls of our campus. While Honors students are involved in a wide range of Loyola’s service and engagement programs, including LUCAP’s Ignatian Volunteers immersion programs in Jamaica and Belize [hot link], the UHP has developed two signature programs that reflect the Honors mission of using our gifts to be men and women for and with others. Through our partnership with Elevate New Orleans, Honors students provide ACT and subject tutoring to athletically talented high school athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds. Participants in Mission Imprint help provide literacy skills to every k-2 student at a local charter school where 100% of the students live in poverty. These two programs require long-term commitments and offer opportunities for increasing responsibility and growth.
All Honors students are automatically members of the University Honors Association (UHA). Our student organization advises the Director and University Honors Advisory Board on academic and co-curricular issues. UHA also plans social activities, such as the annual Honors Laser Tag Outing (fall) and Mardi Gras Ball (spring). Service and Community Engagement are an important component of UHA activities, both through limited events (such as the annual hygiene drive for homeless women) and on-going community partnerships (for example, the tutoring programs described above).
As a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council, the UHP provides the opportunity for Honors students to participate in the annual national honors conference, at which they can present papers, attend workshops, and interact with Honors students from all over the country. In December, the Honors Director, Naomi Yavneh, and UHP member Mara Steven ’15 were both elected to the NCHC Board. They are the only faculty-student pair on the board, and also the only representatives of a Jesuit institution.
The UHP at Loyola is scheduled to host the annual conference of the AJCU Honors Consortium March 6-8, 2015. Honors students will be an integral part of the host team, welcoming representatives from each of our 27 fellow Jesuit institutions to New Orleans.