An Honors program was founded at Wichita State in 1957, one of the earliest in the country. In 1978, the Honors program was named after Emory Lindquist, Rhodes Scholar, 8th University President and the 1st President of Wichita State University. In one of his most memorable speeches, The Idea of a University, presented November 11, 1963 in the Field House on the newly named Wichita State University campus, Dr. Lindquist roused the crowd with his vision of education encompassing both intellect and responsibility.

"Our university has the rich sense of belonging to the past," he reminded students, faculty, and alumni, "and the exciting feeling that the future is heavy with the promise of better things. It is a place where the present is sometimes a difficult reality but it harbors great dreams about the future."JPEG Image

» Emory Lindquist Honors Scholars Album - photos from the past.

» "The Swedish Immigrant and Life in Kansas" by Emory Lindquist. Source: The Kansas Collection

An Honors College was created by the WSU faculty in 2013, and in 2014, the faculty and Kansas Board of Regents approved the new Honors Baccalaureate degree; one of the few self-designed plans of study available in the country and the only one in this region, the H.B. joins professional study with humanistic, social scientific, or scientific work, and culminates in a thesis or comprehensive project. In the spirit of Emory Lindquist, requirements to earn Honors distinctions remain flexible and interdisciplinary. The Honors College curriculum is designed to foster intellectual challenge, innovation, collaboration across campus, and service to academic, creative, and civic communities. Honors College Charter

In April 2015, the college was named after generous benefactors, Dorothy and Bill Cohen, whose gift endows enhancement scholarships to support study abroad, internships in the public sector, travel to national conferences, and service learning. The Cohen gift also supports Honors faculty fellows and funds student leadership development through problem-solving education, furthering the Honors mission of joining knowledge and innovation to grow visionaries.