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Honors Program Celebrates 100 Impressive Graduates

The Saint Louis University Honors Program students and staff celebrated another successful year with the annual senior recognition banquet in April of 2019.  This year's graduating class was among the largest in the program's history.  The evening also featured an award for Honors Program Faculty Member of the Year, which went to School of Education Assistant Professor Tony DeCesare, Ph.D.


May 2019 graduates, adorned with their graduation cords, pose as a group with honors-affiliated faculty and staff at the annual Senior Recognition Ceremony.

On April 29, 2019, the University Honors Program held its annual Honors banquet and senior recognition ceremony to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduating class.

The Honors Program added an impressive class to its alumni base this year.  The program graduated 100 students who completed a demanding curriculum, including an honors first-year seminar, 12 hours of in-class credit (traditional classroom experiences), an honors senior seminar, three hours out-of-class credit (hands-on, experiential experiences), and a substantial honors senior capstone project.  The Honors Program curriculum offers students a rich learning environment and provides opportunities for students in all academic disciplines to explore their curriculum with more depth and breadth.

The class of 2019 represented 35 different majors on campus and the average cumulative GPA of the graduating students was 3.86.  Biology and neuroscience were the most common majors, followed closely by public health, occupational therapy, and psychology as chosen majors.  Other disciplines, such as engineering, economics, physical therapy, history, communication, marketing, sociology, English, accounting, and other were represented as well.  Many of the honors students had more than one major.  In fact, nearly one quarter of the graduating class completed two majors, and three of the program participants graduated with three majors.  The class demonstrated an impressive assembly of diverse talents and interests that personified the Honors Program’s mission to educate “intellectually curious and academically successful students.”

The academic achievements of the class of 2019 translate to exciting post-graduate plans.  Two students received prestigious U.S. Fulbright Student Program grants to teach English abroad.  Another student plans to open a coffee shop that will be guided by Christian ministry.  Numerous others will begin working a job or internship after graduating from the Honors Program.  Next steps include teaching, working, and serving employers such as Barnes Jewish Hospital, Deloitte Consulting, Ernst and Young, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, FleishmanHillard, Mercy Hospital South, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, the Peace Corps, the Saint Louis Zoo, and the Walt Disney Company.

Over half of the class of 2019 Honors Program graduates are heading to a graduate or professional programs in the fall of 2019.  Some graduates will remain Billikens as they continue to study at SLU in disciplines such as accounting, aerospace engineering, health care ethics, law, medicine, business, and social work. Other graduates will attend programs at institutions including Baylor, Columbia, Emory, Harvard, LSU, Penn State, Iowa, Mizzou, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, and Washington University for degrees in various disciplines such as biochemistry, microbiology, clinical psychology, education, nutrition and dietetics, and public health.

These students join an illustrious alumni base in the University Honors Program that stretches back to 1938.  This proud legacy was celebrated at the SLU Honors 80th anniversary reception that was held on September 29, 2018 at the Cupples House during Homecoming and Family Weekend.

The Honors Program at Saint Louis University, established in 1938, engages intellectually curious and academically successful students in a community oriented towards the Jesuit ideals of holistic learning, academic rigor, and community engagement. Through a combination of individually tailored curricula, experiential learning opportunities, and developmental guidance and mentorship, the Honors Program prepares students to become citizens who engage in the process of inquiry and apply their knowledge in service to society.