Celebrating 60 years of Honors at Iowa

For the last year, Honors at Iowa has been planning for the 60th anniversary celebration this fall. Events are being held on campus from now until October.


David Harmantas

Members of the Honors Program host an ice cream social called “Scoops for Scholars” in honor of the program’s 60th anniversary in the Blank Honors Center Atrium on Sept. 12, 2018.

Kinsey Phipps, News Reporter

For 60 years, Honors at Iowa has given talented UI students a community to make connections through classes, research opportunities, peer mentors, experiential learning, internships, and more.

Founded in 1958, the 60th-anniversary celebration of the Honors Program kicked off with “Scoops for Scholars” on Wednesday. UI Honors students received free ice cream, spoke with Honors ambassadors and staff about the anniversary, and saw a timeline history of the UI Honors Program.

Events to celebrate 60 years will continue through September until the celebratory weekend of Oct. 5-7.

Holly Yoder, an Honors advising director who advises the Honors’ newsletter, last year instructed a class that comprised students interested in writing for the quarterly publication. They put in extra work for the anniversary by interviewing alumni and past directors and helping to compile a timeline by looking into archival material, Yoder said.

A core group of Honors ambassadors planned events for current students, she said.

In addition to “Scoops for Scholars,” there will be a talent showcase at Currier from 7-9 p.m. Sept. 23.

On Oct. 5 from 3-5 p.m., there will be cookie decorating, with trivia, pizza, and a time capsule to be locked away from 5-6 p.m. Both events are to take place at the Blank Honors Center.

Faculty and staff planned for the alumni celebration. There is an invitation-only 60th Anniversary Reception and Program on Oct. 6. An “Honors Through the Decades” presentation will be held on Oct. 7 at 11 a.m. for all who wish to come, showcasing UI Honors alumni speakers representing each decade. Later that afternoon, there will be tours of the Blank Center and Shambaugh House, the previous home of the Honors Program.

“I’m looking forward to seeing who comes to these [events], what students gain from them,” Yoder said. “I just hope they have a lot of fun.”

Two Honors Primetime classes are centered on the 60th anniversary celebration.

Enclosed in the time capsule are pieces from each Honors Primetime class held in August. Honors Primetime is a chance for incoming first-year students to get to know others in Honors as well as acclimate to what classes are like at UI before they start, Yoder said.

“Self-Discovery in Honors History” was instructed by Yoder and two undergraduate TAs to teach student-development theory and Honors history. The other class devoted to Honors history made a time capsule to be buried on Oct. 5.

The capsule will be opened in four years, around the time 2018 Primetime students will graduate from UI. Each Primetime class will get the chance to look back on a memory from their first year, Yoder said.

First-year Honors student Stella Murphy said, “It’s fascinating to learn about Honors scholars from the past 60 years, and it will continue to inspire my future.”

Second-year UI student Josephine Marchant, an Honors ambassador who worked on Yoder’s team and helped teach Yoder’s Primetime class, said she got involved with the anniversary celebration because she had ideas about how to get other students involved.

“Honors at Iowa is so special because it’s such a big group of people, but it still allows you to make these tight-knit connections that I will cherish for the rest of my life,” Marchant said.