“A lot of other schools I looked at had an honors dorm, an honors wing, or something along those lines, but it wasn’t an honors community. That’s what you get here. That phrase is perhaps overused to describe this place—‘A Community of Scholars’—but it truly is appropriate. It’s nice to know, too, that if your computer breaks, there’s another one down the hall. There are a lot of conveniences. It probably is a perfect residence hall.”
“This isn’t just a place where other people happen to live down the hall. You know those other people.”
"I can exemplify this community of ours with one anecdote. One early morning as I'm brushing my teeth, my neighbor Larry turns to me and asks, 'So, Luke, how do you reconcile the fossil record of evolution with the divine creation?' Now that doesn't happen in just anybody's bathroom."
“I like to get to know people outside the classroom. A lot of times in a regular class, you don’t get the real person. That’s what I think is special about this place. With all of its different personalities, once you begin to get to know people, sometimes you find friends that’ll be there for you for a long time. Every day I walk into class, I can see the bond that people have with each other.”
"Normally you don't know, unless you are good friends or ask, where people are from or how they were raised. But through the Core class you learn what they think - the broad spectrum usually reflects the background. My high school is in the middle of a corn field, and there wasn't a single non-Christian, non-white person. There are views I didn't even know existed. Hearing what other people think helps define what you believe."
“I agree with that. The community environment is really cool. I was really nervous about bringing my guitar to school because I thought it would get stolen. At the Honors College, I don’t think that is a problem at all. I could leave my door unlocked or open; kids respect you because you’re their friend. You’re not just a stranger.”
"The personality combinations that thrive are amazing. For example, a strongly Christian student runs a weekly Bible study that is attended by Jews and atheiests and agnostics and Christians of all denominations. People come to learn about each other's faith and to discuss the ideas in the passages. Every clothing and musical style and lifestyle is represented, and the high-school snobbery doesn't really go on here."
“There’s not a stigma here about being a freshman. People are open and friendly. We know that we have something in common: we’re each interested in learning. That’s why we’re here, not because our parents told us to, but because we made the choice. The community, right from day one, gives you your niche and a sense of security.”
“It’s easy to excel in the Honors College because everyone is supportive. Professors attend the annual opera with students, and the upperclassmen make the underclassmen midnight pancakes during thesis paper time.”
“I have many friends who aren’t in the Honors College, but a lot of your closest friends are developed here because from day one you’ve lived with them, from day one you’ve argued with them in class. Nearly all of us really care about being here. You get the sense that everyone who is here is here by choice. Everyone here is passionate about something. It might be English, it might be math, it might be French cooking. Everyone has something that is their strength, and it’s really neat to be able to share that with everyone else.”
“Everyone seems so well-rounded, and I think it’s not necessarily that we entered this way, but the fact that we all come together. We live and work together every day; we absorb parts of one another. That’s a big part, I think, of what this community of scholars is all about. For me, a math person, to be challenged on political philosophy forces me to stay current and defend my own beliefs. You’re expected to be able to have an open discourse on almost any subject matter. That’s really great and encourages us to keep learning, whether it’s for a class or not.”
“I think, at the same time, it’s really intriguing to find out you’re not as well-rounded as you thought. I was playing games the other night and a student came down and said to his roommate, ‘Matt, our operating system is having problems in the area...’ They started to talk in a language that I did not understand. I thought I knew things about computers...I was obviously wrong. It gives you a reason to go out and learn more about those things.”
"Sometimes we'll catch ourselves and think 'We're such honors students!' The other day in the lobby Angelo asks, 'How do you know you can't fly? What if you just think you can't' And we stood there and had this conversation about how you know that for sure. What makes it rational and what makes it irrational? It happens at dinner too."
"And the Honors College isn't what we do 24-7. I play football and most of my time is spent with the team. I'm at the field house more than anywhere else. There's no prejudice or animosity about it. Football is just something more for me to talk about with people here. Other students have similar involvement; there are lots of opportunities to interact with the rest of campus. You're not limited in who you want to interact with."
"I have always been serious-minded and 'socially challenged.' People around here have helped with that. At first, I couldn't believe the upperclassmen. I was expecting 'Oh, here comes the fresh meat for the year.' And then I realized that people are just nice. There's a lot of caring and empathy here that I never saw in high school or anywhere else, and that's a great thing."