In the Beginning… 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 and eighth President of Wichita State University.
In one of his most memorable speeches, The Idea of a University, presented Nov. 11th, 1963 in the Field House (now Koch Arena), Dr. Lindquist roused the crowd in his inspiring vision of education encompassing both intellect and responsibility:
"The most decisive mission of a university is the impact of its program upon the student, the individual student, the young man and woman, destined to become an older man and woman, with personal, family, civic, and professional responsibility."
He elaborated on the views of education by quoting historical figures, philosophers, and other college presidents, and challenged his audience to consider the quality of the person's character we educate--not just in the acquisition of knowledge but how we educate the whole person, including the soul, and how knowledge can be put to use to improve our world and the lives of others.
"Our university has the rich sense of belonging to the past," he reminded, "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."
In the spirit of Emory Lindquist, the Honors curriculum is flexible, interdisciplinary, and designed to foster intellectual innovation, collaboration across campus, and service to academic, creative, and civic communities.
Continuing this legacy of intellectual growth and service, the current Honors College was formed in 2013--the first such Honors College in the state of Kansas--and in July of the following year, the Honors Baccalaureate was approved.
Wichita State's Honors College emphasizes high expectations; close interaction between students and professors (in and out of class); global and cultural awareness; active and service learning; teamwork and leadership development; and the cultivation of skills related to lifelong learning, good citizenship and success in the workplace.
At the heart of the Honors College is the Emory Lindquist Honors Scholars program, which provides high-achieving and highly motivated students challenging classes and a strong student network in the first two years of their studies at WSU.
In addition, new interdisciplinary tracks have been launched in 2014-2015. Interdisciplinary tracks are designed for continuing students and transfer students and require coursework within honors, across disciplines and across colleges. Interdisciplinary track students complete an internship or shadowing experience related to their interdisciplinary inquiry.
The University Honors minor became available beginning in fall 2014. Students who complete the Honors Scholars program plus an Interdisciplinary track receive the University Honors minor and the distinction “University Honors” on the diploma.
Wichita State is a member of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC), the Great Plains Honors Council (GPHC), and the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). For more, see our 2013-2014 Annual Report.
» Development of the Honors College and future plans.
» Emory Lindquist Honors Scholars Album - photos from the past.
» Learn about the Emory Lindquist Faculty Award in the WSU Foundation's "Spirit of the Gift" Biography Project.
» Learn about the Irma Lann Lindquist School of Nursing Endowed Student Emergency Fund in the WSU Foundation's "Spirit of the Gift" Biography Project.
» Read "The Swedish Immigrant and Life in Kansas" by Emory Lindquist. Source: The Kansas Collection