EKU Again Leads National Honors Council in Number of Student Presenters

group photo of EKU Honors participants

Once again, Eastern Kentucky University boasted the largest delegation of student presenters at the annual meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC).

For 26 consecutive years, EKU’s Honors Program has brought more participants to the NCHC than any other participating college or university. This year, 39 Honors Colonels and four faculty members traveled to Denver to participate in panels or poster presentations at the five-day event.

They were joined this year by EKU President Michael Benson and by Dr. Bonnie Gray, who served from 1988 to 2008 as the founding director of the University’s Honors Program.

The conference was especially memorable for one member of the EKU contingent. Honors Scholar Sam Shearer, a senior accounting major from Winchester, received the Portz Scholar Award, the most prestigious student recognition bestowed by NCHC, awarded annually to the top four Honors thesis projects in the nation.

Shearer’s winning thesis was entitled “Truman Smith’s Reports on Nazi Militarism: A Study of Domestic Political Priorities and U.S. Foreign Policy Making in Franklin Roosevelt’s First and Second Terms.” He received a plaque and $350 stipend.

Shearer is following in the footsteps of two siblings who have gone through the EKU Honors Program.

“When Dr. Gray was director, she recalls several times having Sam as a small child visiting her office with his older brother, Steve Shearer, and/or older sister, Emily Shearer, when they were students in our Honors Program,” said Dr. David Coleman, interim director. “Because of her longtime friendship with the Shearer family and with Sam, Dr. Gray was particularly happy to accompany us to Denver to see Sam’s amazing presentation of his Portz-winning honors thesis and share in this moment.”

Incidentally, the theme for next year’s landmark 50th anniversary NCHC annual meeting in Chicago is “Make No Little Plans,” the theme for the recent inauguration of President Benson.

For more information about the EKU Honors Program, visit honors.eku.edu.

Published on November 14, 2014

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