Honors College Living/Learning Center 'Sold Out'

June 30, 2004

by Julie Campbell Carlson

Theatrical and concert producers know they have a hit on their hands when they see the words "sold out." Baylor University's Honors College has topped the charts with the new Honors College Living/Learning Center. All 340 spaces in the center are filled and a waiting list has been started.

"Students actually spend very little time each week in class; what they do with the rest of the time will largely determine what sort of education they receive," said Dr. Thomas Hibbs, dean of the Honors College. "It is not surprising, then, that we have seen a tremendous interest in our Honors College LLC; nor is it surprising how many parents and students tell us that one of the main reasons they chose Baylor is the opportunity to live in the center."

Alexander Residence Hall, formerly women's housing, will be designated for Honors College men, while Memorial Residence Hall will be home to Honors College women. All spaces in these two buildings will be occupied by students participating in one of the four Honors College programs - honors, the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, University Scholars or Great Texts. Students must first be admitted into an Honors College academic program before they can apply for admission to the Honors College LLC. Approximately 100 of the students are upper classmen.

"The Honors College Living-Learning Center aims to integrate serious intellectual pursuits in the very fabric of student life at Baylor and to foster a community of inquiry and conversation both in and out of the classroom," said Dr. Frank Shushok Jr., dean for student learning and engagement.

To that end, the residence halls are being renovated to include classrooms where Honors College students will learn on-site each day. A library-common room and faculty offices also will be in place. Additionally, Dr. Edward Blum and his wife, Sarah, will make their home on site and will serve as "faculty members in residence."

"Students attracted to the Honors College are already motivated to want to engage in sustained conversation about books and issues, but they are not bookish nerds," Hibbs said. "The number of extracurricular activities, especially service-related activities, students list on our housing applications is stupefying. These students are eager to interact with faculty and one another."

Hibbs said honors and the University Scholars programs will set records for incoming freshmen this fall.

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