Students find challenge, community in Honors Program

As summer winds down each year, Tom Bowie can’t help but get excited about welcoming 40 distinct individuals to the Regis College Honors Program. And every year he can count on at least a few common attributes among the young scholars: exceptional academic preparation, innate curiosity and a clear sense that the world has great need and it’s asking something of them.

They seek challenge and Bowie, director of the Honors Program, is ready to give it to them.

“Any honors program should challenge a student academically,” he said. “But we want to challenge a student academically, personally, emotionally and spiritually – across all dimensions of the whole person.”

Participants in the competitive program find challenge via the faculty who nurture their intellect; rigorous course work that’s explored in great depth and breadth; seminars built around large, timeless questions and themes; and Jesuit tradition that urges them to learn, question and act.

But challenge also comes from those who surround them. Creating a vibrant community of learners is paramount, Bowie said.

“It’s vital that students see themselves as a community, that they see themselves as collaborating with each other and in partnership toward some higher purpose, toward some higher calling,” he said. “I think that is where the program has really succeeded.”

Bowie can tick off countless success stories – students who went on to become Rhodes Scholars and Teach for America participants and civil rights workers and doctors. And he knows that come fall, the new class will be no different.

“These are people who want a more just society, who want a better world, who want a richer, fuller life,” he said. “That’s what they’re drawn to and hopefully that’s what we nurture over their time with us.”

Elevate your academic experience through the Regis College Honors Program.