In Honors, we seek to do more meaningful work.

We aim to be Intellectual ~ Innovative ~ Professional ~ Transformational

The History of Honors at WSU

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

"Our university has the rich sense of belonging to the past, 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.”

-Emory K. Lindquist The Idea of the University 1963

Great dreams about the future led a group of WSU faculty to create an Honors College in 2013 and, more audaciously, to propose a new, self-designed interdisciplinary degree, the Honors Baccalaureate, in 2014.

In April 2015, the college was named after benefactors, Dorothy and Bill Cohen, whose gift endows enhancement scholarships to support study abroad, student research, 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.

Continuing the tradition of the Lindquist Honors program, the Cohen Honors College aims to benefit the university, students, faculty, and the city of Wichita by attracting high-achieving and highly motivated students and leading them to contribute to academic, creative, and civic communities.

For a glimpse of Honors past, visit the digitized Honors Program Scrapbook or tour the Shocker Hall Honors College construction site.

The Cohen Honors College aims to benefit the University by:
  • Attracting and retaining academically exceptional and highly motivated students from the Wichita area, the region, the nation, and the world
  • Enhancing the recruitment of high-achieving transfer students
  • Increasing undergraduate enrollment
  • Increasing student-faculty collaboration in teaching, research and service
  • Attracting and retaining high-quality faculty and staff
  • Creating compelling connections across disciplines and with the greater Wichita community
  • Enhancing the academic reputation of the University
The Cohen Honors College aims to benefit students and faculty by:
  • Emphasizing academic rigor along with exploration, creativity, and discovery
  • Providing Honors students individualized advising and priority enrollment
  • Engaging students in intellectual dialogue and real-world problems
  • Facilitating undergraduate research across campus
  • Preparing students for top graduate schools, competitive national scholarships, and leadership roles in professional careers
  • Supporting interdisciplinary courses and curriculum development
  • Serving as a curricular laboratory for faculty to experiment with course design and content