Students in the Honors Program develop a strong bond during their four years at Gonzaga. By taking classes together in which one is encouraged to speak openly with one’s peers, the students get to know each other and each other’s views starting in their first semester of college in the freshman colloquium class. Bonding also happens outside the classroom; students spend time together during retreats, at the annual Christmas party, and in every day interactions at the Hopkins House. The Honors Program is truly a social as well as intellectual community.
The first Honors t-shirt; the one that started it all! When Fr. Kuder was director of the Honors Program, he possessed a flag that depicted a moose. When house was messy, Fr. Kuder would fly the flag, and the students knew they had 24 hours to clean the house or would he would lock them out of the house for a week. When Fr. Clancy became the director, he decided to discontinue the moose flag because he says he doesn’t “believe in collective guilt.” This same year, he instituted the honors t-shirt, so that everyone in the program would receive a Christmas present. The students who designed that year’s shirt decided to put a moose on t-shirt with the caption “fear the moose,” in reference to Fr. Kuder’s practice of hanging the moose flag. Thereafter the moose became a pseudo-mascot for the program. From the 2002-2003 academic year.
This was painted as a creative project for Dr. Thayer’s freshman honors English course. It is a depiction of the fall of Troy in the style of Picasso. The Honors Program core is made up of a number of different courses that the students in each class take together in sequence. This uniform core requirement promotes discussion and in-depth contemplation of the subject matter in and out of the classroom. Honors Program students are known to discuss their classes with each other well into the small hours of the morning.
The honors house, named after Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J., provides a place of community. It has been the location of the Honors Program for 25 years. The house is located on campus between the two CCASL houses, thus is a central location for all honors students. It includes a fully stocked kitchen for impromptu community dinners, study rooms, a classroom, a lounging area, and a movie room in the attic. Although no one lives in the house, honors students have 24 hour access for studying or social activities.
Some of the friendships that develop during students’ time in the Honors Program lead to deeper relationships. Over just the last 12 years, the honors program has seen 8 marriages between honors students.